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When is it wise to scrap your will and start over?
As you know, a will reflects a person's wishes for how his or her estate will be handled after death. But because many unforeseen events can happen after a person writes a will, in some situations it may be best to revoke an old will and draft a new one.
Here are some general guidelines to consider:
Why Start Over?
There are several reasons you may want to scrap your old will and start over. Most of them relate to substantial life changes. A few common situations include:
Revoking a Will
In order for a new will to be effective, you must revoke your old will. State statutes dictate how wills can be properly revoked. One of the most common ways is to simply rip it to shreds. In some states, including a clause in the new will that scraps the old will may be enough; in other states, a new version of a will that contradicts the intentions of an older will may be sufficient to revoke it by operation of law.
However, if an older will is improperly destroyed, a court may continue to act as if the old will is still in effect. For more guidance about how and when to update your will, head to our lawyer directory to find an attorney experienced in drafting wills near you.