Revocation of a Will in Virginia Beach

When someone dies without a will, the law decides who gets their property. A will is essential if you want to choose who benefits from your life’s work.

Sometimes, a person has a will, but it no longer reflects their wishes. They now intend other people to have their property. The creator of the will might wish to revoke the entire will or a part of it.

Talk to a wills attorney at Parks Ziegler if you have questions about the revocation of a will in Virginia Beach. We can help you make an effective revocation, or they can represent an heir who is impacted by someone else’s revocation of a will.

Two Ways to Revoke a Will

The person who makes a will is called the testator, and what a testator needs to accomplish in a will often changes as time passes. Changes to the family, accumulation of more wealth, and even revisions to tax laws can spur the desire to change a will. According to the Code of Virginia § 64.2-410, there are two ways a person in Virginia Beach can legally accomplish the revocation of a will.

Make a New Will

When an old will no longer reflects your intentions, you can make a new will. The court honors the most recent, properly executed will, but to ensure clarity, the new will should expressly state that it revokes the previous will. You must sign the new will in front of two witnesses who also must sign the will in front of you and each other.

When a testator writes out the new will in their own handwriting and signs and dates it, there is no need for witnesses. However, a handwritten will often invites a challenge, and the probate court might require witnesses to testify that the will is in the testator’s handwriting. The best practice is to consult an attorney to prepare a new will, execute it with all the formalities, and include a notarized affidavit. The affidavit makes the will self-executing, meaning that it is presumed valid unless someone presents convincing evidence that is fraudulent.

Destroying the Will

Physically destroying the will or the signature is another way to revoke it. You can tear or cut it into pieces or burn it. You could also direct someone else to destroy it, but they must do so in front of you.

Revoking Part of a Will

When you want to change only part of a will, you can do that by adding a codicil, which is another section of the will added later. The same legal formalities are required for a codicil as for the underlying will.

Careful drafting is necessary for codicils because they can create problems if they conflict with any part of the valid will. The codicil should specify which section of the will it revokes and replaces. A Parks Ziegler attorney in Virginia Beach can ensure a codicil only revokes the desired part without creating confusion as to the other provisions in the will.

Codicils were common in the past. However, modern technology makes it very simple to delete a section of a will and insert a new section that reflects the testator’s current wishes. For that reason, creating a new will is now more common, cost-effective, and efficient than adding a codicil.

Requirements to Ensure a Revocation is Effective

There are two essential requirements that must be met for a will revocation to be effective in Virginia Beach. The original will might stand if someone could prove a person lacked the mental capacity to understand the consequences of revoking the will or did not intend to revoke the will.

Many challenges to wills are based on the mental capacity and intent of the testator. When a person decides to revoke a will, working with an experienced attorney can be helpful in establishing that they have the mental capacity and intent to do so.

A legal professional knows how judges make determinations regarding the capacity to make decisions about a will and the intent to do so. They can take steps to ensure they can prove a person understood what they were doing when they revoked or changed a will.

Consult a Virginia Beach Attorney If You Want to Change Your Will

Your will should always reflect your current intentions. When you want to change your will in any way, you can revoke your current will.

Work with a Parks Ziegler attorney to ensure the revocation of a will in Virginia Beach is effective. Call today to get started.

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Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
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Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
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