Does a subsequent Will invalidate a previous Will?

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Does a subsequent Will invalidate a previous Will?

I created a Will from the Will kits that a national retailer sells that explained guardianship of my now 3 year old daughter. This Will is in the hands of a family member and I no longer wish to have the details of that Will carried out. I am looking to create a new Will with a lawyer. I was wondering if the old “Will” would be valid if there was another Will created at a more recent date or would the new Will take place or override the old Will?

Asked on March 17, 2011 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The testator (maker of a Will) should declare that they revoke all previous Wills and codicils (amendments to a Will). Otherwise, a subsequent Will only revokes earlier Wills and codicils to the extent that they are inconsistent with each other.  However if a subsequent Will is entirely inconsistent with an earlier one, the earlier Will is considered to be completely revoked.

I think you are wise to have an attorney draft your new Will .  You want to make sure that not only have all technical requirements been met, but that the content of the Will itself is legally sufficient.  Bottom line, you will have the assurance of having your estate handled according to your wishes. 

 


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