"For Every Stage In Life"
Revoking a Will: What You Need to Know
Like amendments to a Will, revocation of a Will may take place any time before the death of the testator. They are only two exceptions to this:
- Where the testator is the surviving member of the joint Will, the survivor cannot revoke the joint Will;
- Where antenuptial contract between the testator and his or her spouse contains a testamentary provision, the testator cannot unilaterally revoke the provisions of the antenuptial contract.
They are two essential elements to revoking a Will:
- The testator must have the intention to revoke the Will (you cannot mistakenly revoke a Will);
- The intention to revoke must be shown by a legally recognized act of revocation.
Acts of Revocation
In South Africa, a Will may be revoked in one or more of the following ways:
- Destruction of the whole will (e.g. burning the Will, defacing the Will etc): No formalities are required for this type of revocation.
- Express revocation: This is done by executing a codicil or revocation document and therefore prescribed formalities of executing a Will must be adhered to.
- Implied revocation: This is done by way of executing a new Will that conflicts with a prior Will to the extent that the old and new Will cannot be read together, or the new Will expressly states that all prior Wills are revoked.