Trust Law Partners Blog

We understand how complicated it can be to navigate trust disputes. Our blog is designed to give you the information needed to better understand how to protect your interests as trustees.


How to revoke your will in California

In California, a new will does not automatically revoke a prior version. To revoke a previous will in California, you typically need to follow specific legal procedures. Here are some common methods of revoking a prior will in California:

1. Creating a New Will
You can create a new will that specifically states that it revokes all prior wills and codicils. This is a clear and straightforward way to revoke previous wills.

2. Physically Destroying the Will
You can revoke a will by physically destroying it, such as by tearing, burning, or otherwise mutilating it. This must be done with the intention of revoking the will. It’s essential to be careful when using this method, as you should not accidentally destroy the current will if you intend to revoke only a previous version.

3.  Creating a New Will with a Revocation Clause
You can create a new will that includes a revocation clause explicitly stating that it revokes all prior wills and codicils.

4. Creating a Codicil
A codicil is a legal document that modifies an existing will. You can create a codicil to the previous will that explicitly revokes specific provisions of the earlier will. This approach allows you to make changes without revoking the entire will.

It’s important to follow the legal requirements when creating and revoking wills in California. Additionally, the specific laws and requirements regarding wills can change over time. It’s a good idea to consult with a legal professional who is knowledgeable about the current laws in California to ensure your wishes are properly documented and executed.