How Do I Revoke a Will in California?

There are many different things to think about in the context of updating your estate plan, but one of the most important is to consider what to do if you need to revoke a previous California will. If the need ever arises, it can be helpful to have a relationship with an experienced Pasadena estate planning lawyer to assist you in ensuring that you have thought through all of these critical issues.

There are two options to revoke a will in California. The first of these is to destroy the original will through a physical act. The second of these is to create a new will that formally revokes the old one. Both of these options are outlined under California Probate Code Section 6120. When it comes to the physical act of revoking a will, you can cancel, tear up, or otherwise destroy the will.

The important thing is that this physical act must be done by the testator or at the direction of the testator and in their presence. After the physical act of destroying the will has taken place, the will is formally revoked. The second option for revoking an existing will by creating a new one is the more popular and easier choice.

Many estate planning lawyers will advise you to include language at the beginning of your new will that says something such as, “I hereby revoke all prior wills.”

For more support in California estate planning processes, schedule a consultation with an experienced Pasadena estate planning lawyer.    

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