There are many reasons to make a new Will. Maybe you’ve remarried and want to add your new spouse as beneficiary. Maybe you’re disinheriting someone. Perhaps you’ve made several small changes to your previous Will in the form of Codicils, and it’s time to clean things up and put your wishes in the form of one clear, easy-to-follow document.
Whatever the reason for making your new Will, one thing you’ll want to do is make sure you destroy your old Will. Why? It’s really for practical purposes.
Your new Will should contain a clause stating that your old will is completely revoked, and that your new will takes precedence over any previously made wills. But, you wouldn’t believe how much trouble has been created by heirs who have come out of the woodwork with prior Wills that they were certain were the “real deal”. And the resulting confusion can be enough to unnecessarily tie up an estate in probate for months or even years.
So, err on the side of caution and, after your new Will is signed and witnessed, destroy your old Will in its entirety. If you intentionally tear up or destroy your old Will before you make your new one, then your old Will, along with all associated Codicils, is revoked, and you’re left without a Will – not a position you want to be in!