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How to amend or revoke a will in Florida

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2023 | Estate Planning |

We’re human, and as such, we will change our minds from time to time. These can be small changes of decisions, such as deciding to go with the soup rather than the salad at dinner. Or they can be a major change of decision, such as deciding to change part of your estate plan, for example, your last will and testament.

How to revoke a will in Florida

If you want to amend the terms of your will or get rid of your will altogether, it will need to be revoked. To revoke a will is to make it unenforceable or otherwise do away with it, and replace it with something else. That something else may be a new will, a different estate planning document or nothing at all.

In Florida you can revoke your will by physically destroying it with the intent to revoke it, or by instructing someone to do so on your behalf and in your presence.

You can also revoke a will by making a new one or including an addition to the initial will (referred to as a codicil) that explicitly states the original will is revoked or that it contains language that completely contradicts the language of the original will.

Codicils must be executed with the same legal formalities necessary to create a will.

Special considerations for divorce

If you divorce in Florida, any wording in your will that leaves an inheritance to your ex-spouse or designates your ex-spouse as your personal representative will be automatically revoked. The only exception is if your will contains explicit language stating that the terms of the will cannot be altered if you divorce.

Should you revoke your will on your own?

It may seem easy enough to revoke a will. Tear it up or cross out the language you want removed and handwrite the language you want to include.

Still, taking matters into your own hands like that could lead to legal challenges down the road. Your heirs might not believe you intended to revoke your will, or they may argue it was not revoked in the legally correct way.

To avoid such miscommunications, many people choose to seek professional assistance if they want to amend or revoke their will or make other changes to their estate plan.



Photo of Jennifer D. Sharpe