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Examining will revocation methods

Estate planning experts in Woodland Hills recommend that people begin planning for the transition of their assets early on in life. Those who do so may rest easy knowing such matters are covered. Yet given that they may live for years or even decades after having created their wills, these people may also want to know the methods through which they can revoke them if they so choose.

The different ways in which one may revoke a will are outlined in the California Probate Code. If one drafts a second will that expressly invalidates the terms of an earlier one, the initial will is then considered to be revoked. Inconsistencies in the terms between a first and second will may also be enough to invalidate the former. Along with canceling it, those who have a flair for the dramatic may also want to confirm the revocation of a will by any of the following actions:

  •          Tearing it up
  •          Burning it
  •          Destroying or obliterating it altogether

The law considers any will submitted to these actions revoked provided they are undertaken by the testator or in his or her presence.

Many may create a will while married only to later divorce. It is not uncommon for people to forget to amend or revoke a will following a divorce. Yet with divorce being a fairly common occurrence in the U.S. (Over 813,860 cases alone in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), laws have been enacted to automatically invalidate certain elements of a will upon the dissolution of a marriage. These include the appointment of property to a former spouse, as well as any provisions naming the former spouse as an officer of the estate or granting him or her special powers of appointment. 

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