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How Can a Will Be Revoked in Washington?

Nov. 26, 2014

A lot can happen in a person’s life after they create a will. Thus, a person will sometimes come to the conclusion that, due to changes in their life or changes in their views and opinions, their will no longer accurately reflects what they want to have happen with their assets when they die. When a person feels that their will is no longer consistent with their wishes, one question they may have is: how can I take the will out of force?

There are a couple of different ways a will can be revoked under Washington law.

One is for the person whose will it is (or someone acting under their direction) to take certain actions against the will with the intent to revoke it. The actions that, when paired with intent, can revoke a will are: destroying the will, burning the will, obliterating the will, tearing the will or cancelling the will.

The other way a person can revoke a will is to create a new will. A new will revokes a previous will, partially or completely, if its terms are inconsistent with the previous will or if it contains terms that expressly revoke the previous will.

When revoking a will, or making any other changes to an estate plan, it is very important for individuals to understand what effects the change will have on their overall estate plan, where the change will leave their estate plan and whether any further action will be needed to bring their estate plan into line with their wishes. Experienced elder law attorneys can help elderly individuals who wish to make alterations to their estate plan (such as revoking a previously formed will) figure out how to get their estate plan to where they want it to be.