Wills form a vital part of any estate plan. By law, once a person creates a will, that document remains in effect up until the maker’s death. This permanence is one of the benefits of drafting a will and informs the probate court as to your wishes for your heirs.
However, while wills are permanent, you always have the choice to revoke the document. The revocation of a will in Fort Lauderdale is possible as long as you have the proper intent and state of mind to do so. Even so, taking this step has serious legal implications and will change the property rights of your heirs. Talking with Marc Brown, P.A., our knowledgeable wills attorney, about revoking your will could provide valuable information about the process and the impact that it will have on your estate plan.
Legal Impact of Revoking a Will in Fort Lauderdale
Every adult should have a valid will. The will informs the probate court as to what you want to happen to your property and assets after your death. From a legal perspective, having a will prevents the probate court from applying the intestacy statute to your estate after you pass away.
The intestacy rules determine which family members will inherit which portion of the decedent’s estate. This often results in an estate splitting between a spouse and children. If the specific piece of property goes to two or more parties, the court will order a forced sale.
Revoking a will can expose your estate to the application of the state’s intestacy laws. It is usually advisable to revoke a will through the creation of a new document, as explained below, or to have a scheduled estate planning session to work toward the creation of a new will. A well-versed attorney could could help to explain the implications of the revocation of a will.
Steps Involved in Revoking a Will
State law provides for two main methods to revoke a will. The first is a revocation by writing. Florida Statute § 732.505 states that a testator may revoke a will in writing by executing a new will. If the will speaks as to every portion of the previous document, the new will is the sole will for the testator. If the new will only speaks as to certain portions of a person’s estate and does not mention others present in the previous document, the new will only overrides the portions that it mentioned. Because of this, it is possible to have multiple enforceable wills in effect.
The second method involves a revocation by act. Under FL Stat. § 732.506, a testator or person under the testator’s direction may revoke a will by making physical changes to the document. This can include burning, canceling, tearing, defacing, or any other act that makes it clear that the testator wants to render the will void. A trusted lawyer could provide more clarification about the two options for revoking a will in Fort Lauderdale.
Consult with an Attorney about Revoking a Will in Fort Lauderdale
Every person who creates a will in Fort Lauderdale has the right to revoke that will at any point in the future. However, it is important to realize the impact that this will have on your estate plan and how state law interacts with this choice. Revoking a will may leave you vulnerable to the state’s intestacy rules or create confusion during the probate process.
Marc Brown, P.A., our respected lawyer, can help you execute the revocation of your will in the most effective way possible. We could work to create new documents that leave no lapse in coverage as well as perform the act in a way that leaves no doubt as to your intent. Reach out to us now to learn more.