A will revival is a somewhat uncommon procedure in estate planning. It’s very common for people who have created an estate plan to change their minds about the choices they have made. When those people have made specific estate planning tools, such as a last will and testament, they often decide that they no longer want those tools to have effect. In some of these situations, people might want to execute a will revival. What is a revival and how does it affect your estate plan? Let’s take a look at some commonly asked questions.
What is a will revival?
Let’s say you created a last will and testament before you got married. Then, after you got married, you created a new will. Just recently your marriage ended in divorce, and you now want to change the will you created after you got married.
In situations like this, it’s common for people to want to “go back” to their old wills. This is what a will revival is. It’s revoking your current will and replacing it with an older will that you had previously revoked.
Can I revive the will by destroying the new one?
No. In Florida, reviving a will is not something you can accomplish simply by destroying or revoking your current last will and testament. You have to do more.
How do I revive an old will?
If you want to revive an old will you have to execute a new document that explicitly states your wishes. That document must meet the execution criteria that would otherwise apply to a will or codicil. This means you have to create a document that states you want to revive your will, sign it, have it signed in the presence of two capable witnesses, and then have those witnesses sign the document as well.
Isn’t a will revival a lot like making a new will?
Yes. In fact, the process is mostly identical. In almost every situation, people who want to revive an old will should really just make a new will. Even if you don’t plan on making any changes to the old document, creating a new will is preferable to a revival because it will be more current. Should someone ever try to challenge or contest your will, it’s generally easier to show that the document was created properly if it was created more recently. As long as you are mentally capable and follow all the legal requirements imposed under Florida law, the court will accept your new will as an expression of your last wishes.
If you have any other questions about will revivals or creating a new will, you should talk to your lawyer as soon as possible.