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Will Revocation in Florida


Properly preparing a will is perhaps the most crucial element of estate planning, and a key tool in the probate process. A valid will is a key factor in ensuring that your assets will be distributed in the way you see fit after you pass away. However, everything in life is subject to change. A last will and testament will likely be drafted several years, maybe even decades, prior to a person’s death and the requirement of submitting a will to the probate court. It makes sense, then, that relationships and circumstances may change over time and revisions, updates, or complete revocations of a will may become necessary. In Florida, there are a few different ways to enact a revocation of a valid, existing will. You should not assume that you can just scratch out some language or tear up your copy and call the deed done. Just as there are certain requirements that need to be satisfied in order for a will to be valid, there are certain requirements that must be met to make the revocation of a will valid as well. This article will briefly go over the three ways that a testator may revoke their will.

Revocation by Writing 

Revocation by writing is contained in Florida Statutes section 732.505. The law details that a will (or codicil) is provoked wholly or in part, by:

  1. A subsequent will or codicil was created, to the extent that the new will or codicil is inconsistent with the old one. The new will does not have to expressly state that it is revoking previous wills or codicils.
  2. Wills or codicils might also be revoked by a subsequent will, codicil, or other writing that has been executed with the same formalities that are required for the execution of wills and the revocation is declared. Essentially, this means that another, legally valid document is created that revokes the prior document.

Revocation by Physical Act

 Revocation by physical act is contained in Florida Statutes section 732.506. This section of the Florida statutes specifies that a will or codicil (other than electronic wills) might be revoked by the testator, or a testator’s agent by the direction of the testator, by burning, tearing, obliterating, canceling, obliterating, defacing, destroying with intent, etc., done with the purpose of revoking the will.

In the case of an electronic will, an electronic will is revoked by a physical act by deleting, obliterating, rendering unreadable, or canceling the will or codicil with the intent and purpose of revoking the will. This must be proved by clear and convincing evidence.

 Revocation by Operation of Law

Revocation by operation of law is contained in Florida Statutes section 732.507. This section of the statute states the general consequences and effects of subsequent marriages, dissolution of marriages, subsequent births, adoptions, etc.

 Contact Suncoast Civil Law 

While we have touched on the basics behind revoking a will in Florida, case law is always further developing Florida courts’ understanding and treatment of cases under the law. It is always worth speaking with an experienced Sarasota wills & probate lawyer at Suncoast Civil Law to discuss the specifics of your own case, whether you are looking to determine whether a will was properly revoked or want to ensure the process is done correctly in your own estate. Reach out to our team today to begin speaking with our competent legal staff.