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When can a will be revoked?

Wills can be revoked in a number of circumstances.

Wills are very important for a variety of reasons, but they are only valuable so long as they are up-to-date. In fact, many estate disputes arise because of outdated information contained within a will that has not been reviewed regularly.

However, there are some conditions under which a will can be revoked or partially revoked, making it no longer a legally binding document. Here are some of the times this might occur: 

When a new will is drafted or the old will is lost

This is perhaps an obvious example, but the most common time for a will to be revoked is because a new one has been written to replace it. Also, if a will goes missing and cannot be found, the Courts will assume the testator intended to revoke their will and they will have died intestate. 

When you get married

When an individual gets married in Queensland, any former will they drafted will be revoked. There are some situations in which a will can continue to be valid despite a marriage. In particular, if the existing will accounts for an impending future marriage, it can still be valid following a wedding. Also any gift to the spouse or appointment of the spouse as Executor will not be revoked.

Partial revocation

Sometimes, an individual's will won't be completely revoked, but parts of it will no longer apply. For example, following a divorce, any parts of your will that provide allowances for your former partner will no longer apply. If your former spouse is also named as an executor of the estate, this responsibility will also be revoked. 

However, it is possible to still leave a former partner as a beneficiary of your will, as a Court must be satisfied any gifts or parts of an estate were intended to be given to a former spouse.

If you would like to update your will or discuss changes as a result of marriage or divorce, make sure you talk to a wills and estates lawyer.