Revocation of Will
Revocation of Will

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

  • Revocation of Will
  • Revocation of a Will
  • Involuntary revocation
  • Meaning of marriage
  • Voluntary revocation
  • Presumption of revocation
  • No automatic revival
  • Conditional revocation
  • Revival of a revoked Will
  • Revoking the revoked Will

Revocation of a Will

A Will is revocable at any time during the testator's lifetime. A testator may not revoke their Will in any manner they choose: 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 law on:

  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

Revocation of a Will by marriage or civil partnership

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:

'18. Wills to be revoked by marriage except in certain cases

(1) Subject to subsections (2) to (4) below a Will shall be revoked by the testator's marriage.

(2) A disposition in a Will in exercise of a power of appointment shall take effect

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