Revoking Your Florida Will

Revoking a Florida Will

There are circumstances where you may wish to revoke (cancel) a previously made Last Will and Testament. You may have a new partner in your life, the primary beneficiary may have died or you simply changed your mind. Whatever the reason, you need to take care when cancelling your Will. As with making a Last Will, there are strict requirements for revoking the document.

How can I cancel my Florida Will?

A Florida Last Will and Testament may be revoked (cancelled) by:

  • Declaring the revocation in a subsequent Will, codicil or some other writing executed with the same formalities as a Will; 732.505
  • Burning, tearing, cancelling, defacing, obliterating or destroying the Will with the intention of revoking it. 732.506

If revocation is not carried out properly, your Will may still end up being valid (even though this isn’t what you may have wanted). For example, what if you rely on revoking a Florida Will by writing? This document needs to be executed and witnessed and is usually done in a new Will. What if the document is held to be invalid (because it wasn’t witnessed or signed properly or some other reason)? If you did not destroy your former Will and the written revocation is deemed invalid, then your former Will is still effective.

To ensure your Will is revoked properly, attorneys suggest using both of the above methods. However, there are circumstances where also destroying the Will is not advised. For example, both methods would not be used where you are relying on multiple Wills (all similar in nature and each revoked in writing by the later Will) for the purposes of defeating a possible Will contest. You should speak to an attorney if you are concerned about the possibility of your Will being contested.

Does marriage cancel my Florida Will?

No. However, if you do not update your Florida Last Will after marriage, then your spouse will only be entitled to a statutory share of your estate. The remainder of your estate will be distributed in accordance with your last Will (even if made prior to marriage). 732.507

Is a Florida Will revoked by divorce?

Divorce does not cancel your Will. It only voids provisions which affect your spouse. Your Will ends up being treated as though your spouse died on the date of divorce, dissolution of marriage or annulment. 732.507

If you are thinking about revoking a Florida Will, remember to have a new Will made up before you go destroying the only valid Will you have. You don’t want to end up dying intestate if you never get around to writing a new one.

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