Revoking an original will

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2023 | Wills

Georgia residents who wish to care for their loved ones in the event of their passing may write a will. A last will and testament allows the testator to bequeath assets to chosen beneficiaries. However, circumstances may change, and the testator could decide to devise a new will. Upon writing a new will, they may have questions about the validity of the previous document.

Writing a new will

When a person writes and signs a will that is legal under Georgia law, it remains valid until they write a new will. Per Georgia law, the new will can expressly revoke the previous will unless the testator chooses to revive the original will or another written instrument.

However, if it is later learned the testator had no intentions to amend or become revoked to revoke the previous will, that may create additional legal concerns. For example, if someone is forced to sign a new will under duress or makes a new will based on fraud or coercion, the new will would likely not be valid. The probate court needs to see proof of fraud or coercion to render a will invalid.

Crafting a will

The reasons for changing wills can vary. The addition of a new family member of a significant increase in net worth could prompt the change. Sometimes, a testator may disinherit a beneficiary. Writing a new will and revoking the original becomes necessary to institute such changes.

Some estate planners attempt to craft do-it-yourself wills based on templates found online. Such an approach could be regrettable, as mistakes resulting in a will not valid under Georgia law could leave an estate to the rules of intestate laws.