Revocation of Wills

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

  • Revocation of Wills
  • Involuntary revocation
  • Voluntary revocation of Wills
  • Presumption of revocation
  • No automatic revival on revocation
  • Conditional and dependent relative revocation of Wills
  • Revival of a revoked Will
  • Revoking the revocation of a Will

Revocation of Wills

A Will is revocable at any time during the testator's lifetime. A Will may only be revoked by automatic operation of law (involuntary revocation) or by a deliberate act of the testator (voluntary revocation). Apart from these methods, and where there has been an obliteration under section 21 of the Wills Act 1837 (WA 1837), an attempt to revoke the Will by any other method will be ineffective. For example, a Will is not revoked by a presumed intention or a change of circumstances unless the change of circumstances is specified in WA 1837.

Involuntary revocation

A Will is revocable by operation of law on the testator’s:

  1. marriage

  2. civil partnership

Certain provisions of a Will are revocable by law on:

  1. divorce or nullity of marriage

  2. dissolution or nullity of civil partnership

Involuntary revocation, or revocation by operation of law, is confined to these circumstances.

For Wills made on or after 1 January 1983, WA 1837, s 18 (as substituted by section 18 of the Administration of Justice Act 1982) provides that a Will shall be revoked by the testator's marriage. This rules is subject to the following exceptions in WA 1837, s 18(2)–(5) so that:

  1. a disposition in a Will in exercise of a power of appointment takes effect notwithstanding the testator's subsequent marriage, unless the appointed property would, in default of appointment, pass to the testator’s

Popular documents