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Can a will that was revoked or deemed invalid be revived?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2022 | Estate Planning & Probate

For Pennsylvanians who are thinking about the future and want to be prepared, creating an estate plan is a wise step. The most basic type of estate planning document is a will. Many might think that once a will is completed, it is unlikely that changes will be necessary. However, as with many aspects of life, situations are fluid. If a will is revoked or there is a declaration of invalidity, then changes will need to be made. In some cases, the testator faced these challenges and wants to revive the original will. Understanding the law for these potentially confusing circumstances is key.

Important points about reviving a past will

People changing their will and wanting to go back to the original is not unusual. For example, a person might write and execute a will while he or she is married and then decide to divorce. If property was left to the ex-spouse, then the testator might not want that person to get as much as they were when they were married. They could want to cut that person out completely. It is in these types of situations when a will might be revoked. If, however, the couple parted ways and decided to remarry or the testator wants to go back to the original will for another reason, then it is important to know how to go about it.

A later will that was created after the original will must specifically say or imply that the previous will has been revoked. If the later will is revoked, it does not put the previous will back in effect unless the testator takes certain steps to do so. That includes revoking the new will in writing and declaring that the intention is to revive the prior will. It is also possible to revive the previous will by re-executing it. It is imperative to remember that a will revival cannot be done orally.

For wills and other estate planning concerns, experienced advice may be needed

Estate planning and administration can be somewhat confusing, especially if there are changes to the document. Having a will is a useful step to avoid problems after a person has died. Still, just because a will is in place does not mean that it will be static and unchanged. This might be viewed from the perspective of younger people who have written a will and experienced upheavals in their personal and professional lives, but it can be relevant to anyone at any age. For assistance in reviving a prior will or with any other area of estate planning, having guidance can be essential to achieve the desired result.