Modifying a California Will: Revoke the Old and Sign the New?

In order to update a will in Orange County, you have two options. First, you can draft and execute a codicil for your will. A codicil is an amendment to the original document. In the alternative, you can revoke your previous will and draft and sign a new one. If you are considering revoking an earlier will in order to execute a newly updated will, it is essential that you do so under the guidance of an experienced Anaheim estate planning lawyer. The following are helpful facts about this process:

  • A will can be revoked either in whole or in part.
  • A will can be revoked by executing a new will that revokes the prior will, or a section thereof.
  • A will can be revoked by burning the document.
  • A will can be revoked by tearing, cancelling, or otherwise destroying the original document.
  • The person burning or destroying the will must do so with the intent of revoking it.
  • The act of burning or destroying the will can be carried out either by the testator or by someone else.
  • If the will is burned or destroyed by someone other than testator, the action must occur in the presence of the testator and at his or her direction. 

In order to properly update a will, you must understand and comply with the requirements outlined in the California probate code. If you do not execute the will in the correct manner, it may not be effective or legally binding. Fortunately, our office of experienced Anaheim estate planning attorneys can guide you through this process to ensure that your will is properly updated. Call us today at (714) 459-5481 for a consultation.

James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm
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