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How can a person revoke a will in Florida?

Sometimes, a person in Florida who has executed a valid will decides one day that he or she wants to revoke it. Perhaps, a new grandchild was born that he or she wants included in the will, he or she either gained or lost a significant asset or there was a family fallout. In Florida, a will can be revoked two ways: by writing or by act.

One way to revoke a will is by writing. Under Florida Statutes, Section 732.505, an existing will or codicil can be revoked if a subsequent will or codicil is legally executed containing terms that are inconsistent with those in the original. The subsequent one need not expressly contain terms stating all previous wills or codicils are revoked.

However, if that language were not included, the revoked terms would only be the ones covering those inconsistencies. If that language is included, and the subsequent one is entered into with the same legal formalities found in will execution, the former will or codicil will be revoked.

Another way to revoke a will is by act. Under Florida Statutes, Section 732.506, an existing one can be revoked if the testator destroys it. For example, this can be done by burning, tearing or defacing it, with the intention of revoking the will or codicil. A testator can also ask another individual in his or her presence to destroy it.

While the reasons why a person will want to revoke an otherwise valid will are personal, it is important that if they decide that is the best course of action, that they do so with all the necessary legal formalities. Just as a will needs to be created with certain legal formalities, so must the revocation of a will be done with all the necessary legal formalities. An attorney can help Florida residents who want to revoke a will ensure it is done so properly, so that the revocation can be legally binding.

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