Can my mother write a new will before my father is even dead

My mother trashed my parents will and wrote a new one BEFORE my father died. Her new will is dated before he died and she removed my father’s name from her house deed at the same time. I live in WI, and I say the new will is invalid based on this technicality. My father died in 2013 and she changed the will in 2012.

Asked on April 4, 2017 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Any adult, married or not, may rewrite (or revise, or cancel, etc.) her will at any time, for any reason.
There is no such thing as your "parents' will," in that each person has his or her own will--even if the two wills are the same in all signficant ways, each person still has and signs his or her own will. So again, your mother could change her will whenever she wanted. She could not change your father's will without his consent: that is, he'd have to agree to and sign any new will she asked him to sign. If he did, however, then that new will to which he agreed and which he signed will replace and supercede any prior will and is enforceable.
She also could not remove your father's name from the deed without his consent: one property owner cannot remove another without the other's agreement. If he did agree, even if it was a bad idea, it was legal.
Getting back to your original question: your mother writing a new will for herself before your father died is perfectly legal. She was not obligated to keep  to the same will always.


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