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

  • Republication
  • Nature of republication
  • Republication methods
  • The effect of republication
  • Legacies
  • Intermediate Wills
  • Limitations of republication

Nature of republication

The process of publication of a Will is no longer necessary. Section 13 of the Wills Act 1837 (WA 1837) provides: 'Every Will executed in manner herein-before required, shall be valid without any other publication thereof.' Publication was a declaration by the testator to the witnesses that the Will was his/hers. A testator who has revoked their Will either with or without making a new one may wish to revive that Will. The testator may write out the revoked Will again and execute in accordance with WA 1837, s 9 or take advantage of WA 1837, s 22.

Revival restores a revoked Will or codicil. Republication confirms an unrevoked testamentary instrument.

The use of the term republication has been subject to disapproval. Lord Porte in Berkeley referred to it as 'an expression now meaningless, but still unhappily in use'.

Republication methods

Republication is possible by the two methods laid down in WA 1837, ie by either express or constructive republication.

Express republication

Express republication takes place where a testator re-executes their Will, with the necessary formalities of attestation for the express purpose of republishing it.

Constructive republication

Constructive republication occurs when a testator makes a codicil to their Will or some testamentary instrument from which the inference can be drawn that they wish it to be read as

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