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What's the best way to revoke a will?

It's your hope that the first will you create is the will that remains in effect until you pass on. While this could happen, there may come a point when you realize that you need to revoke your will and alter your estate plan.

Here are some situations that may call for you to revoke a will:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child

While it sounds easy enough to revoke a will, there are some key steps you need to take:

  • Destroy the old will: The last thing you want to do is keep your will, as doing so can cause confusion and legal battles upon your death. If you're replacing an old will with a new one, make sure you destroy the original.
  • Create a new will: Generally speaking, creating a new will is enough to replace an old will. However, there are things you must do to make it valid, such as signing, dating and stating the following: "I hereby revoke any and all old Wills that I have previously made." If you're creating a new will, it doesn't hurt to destroy the old one.
  • Make changes: You can revoke a will by making changes to one that you already have in place. The amended will acts as a new will since you've changed key aspects.

You may never have to revoke a will. However, if you do, it's critical to take all the right steps. Neglecting to do so will only cause confusion in the future, and that's not what your loved ones need after you've passed on.

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