Orange County California

Trust Attorneys


I have cancer. Can I modify my will? Yes. We are sorry to hear of your diagnosis and understand your concern. Sometimes when people create wills, the process is very abstract—they are anticipating that their death is still a long way off. Your own death may still be a long way off—even if you have been diagnosed with cancer. However, a cancer diagnosis often makes the whole concept of death more real and you, understandably, want to make sure that everything will be handled according to your wishes.

You Have the Right to Modify Your Will

Your cancer diagnosis does not change your right to revise or revoke your existing will. Generally, you have the right to create, revise, or revoke a will right up until the time that you die. Exceptions to this general rule are made if you are either mentally incompetent or if you are under undue influence. In the majority of cases, cancer does not make you mentally incompetent. Cancer does not make it difficult for you to understand the impact of your legal decisions. Similarly, cancer cannot create undue influence on you. Only another person can do that. Accordingly, you have the right to make the changes that you want to your will after you are diagnosed with cancer.

Make Sure You Do it Right

I have cancer. Can I modify my will? You want to make sure that the changes that you make are enforceable. To learn more about how to do that, we encourage you to read our FREE pamphlet, The Ten Things You Must Know Before Creating (or Amending) Your Will or Trust, and take the necessary actions to make your desired changes today.

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