How do you legally revoke a Will?

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How do you legally revoke a Will?

Ten years ago, my sister took my mother to a lawyer so she could draft a “Will”, However, my sister died last week. She obviously made herself the executor. My mother, who is 83, thinks that she can rip up the original copy of the Will and that would be the end of it. Would most lawyers put something on record at probate so it would be known that a Will was drawn?

Asked on August 30, 2010 under Estate Planning, Maine

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A will or any part thereof can be revoked: (1) By a subsequent Will which revokes the prior Will (in whole or in part; either expressly or by inconsistency); or (2) By being burned, torn, canceled, obliterated, or destroyed, with the intent and for the purpose of revoking it by the testator (maker)or by another person in the testator's presence and by their direction.
Maine Code, Title 18A, Section 2-507.

As for the Will being filed with the probate court for safe keeping, while this can be done, typically isn't.  Ask you mother if it was filed or have her check with the attorney who drafted it. If it was so filed, just have her ask the clerk of the court for its return and destroy it.


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