Conditional and dependent relative revocation of Wills

The following Wills & Probate practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Conditional and dependent relative revocation of Wills
  • Circumstances in which conditional revocation applies
  • Failure to execute another Will
  • Failure to make a valid execution
  • Failure to execute an effective Will
  • Failure to revive a Will
  • Mistaken belief
  • Implied revocation

Conditional and dependent relative revocation of Wills

If a testator revokes the Will and that revocation is shown to be subject to a condition, the revocation is ineffective if the condition is not satisfied. Revocation will not be held to be conditional unless there is clear evidence that the testator intended.

Dependent relative revocation occurs when revocation of an original disposition is not to take place unless a new disposition that has been or is intended to be made takes effect. If it fails to take effect, the original disposition is not revoked.

An example of dependent relative revocation can be taken from the Re Bridgewater (deceased) case, where a testator who made three Wills wrote to his solicitor to say that the second Will was at his bank and that he had destroyed the third Will, the intended effect being to validate the second Will. At his death only the first Will was found. The letter to the solicitor was held to be admissible evidence of intention to destroy the third Will. As the destruction of the third Will was dependent on the validation of the second Will, which had not happened, the third Will was held not to have been revoked and was admitted to probate.

In the most recent case on this subject, Re Finnemore, Judge Micklem indicated that whether conditional or dependent revocation applies

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