Have you made a will recently? If you have it is important to bear in mind that certain acts by you could result in your will being revoked or cancelled.
A will can be revoked in five different ways as follows:
- By a subsequent marriage or entry into a civil partnership
- By a subsequent will which is properly executed
- By a written declaration declaring an intention to revoke the will which is signed by the person who made the will and witnessed by two independent witnesses
- By the burning, tearing or destruction of the will by the person who made the will with the intention of revoking it
- By the burning, tearing or destruction of the will by some person who is present with the person who made the will and who does these actions at their direction with the intention of revoking the will
MARRIAGE OR ENTRY INTO A CIVIL PARTNERSHIP
If you have been married or entered into a civil partnership since you made your will, it is important to note that your marriage will have revoked your will that you made prior to your marriage. However this will not apply if your will was made in contemplation of that marriage or entry into a civil partnership. This does not actually have to be expressed in the will but it is good practice to do so. It is important to note that since the Marriage Equality Act 2015 where civil partners choose to marry each other, this particular marriage will not invalidate a previous will. If you have a will in a foreign country, you need to be careful that it has not revoked your Irish will and vice versa. This could lead to difficult consequences when your estate comes to be administered. Conversely, a divorce does not revoke a will.
HOLDING YOUR ORIGINAL WILL
If you are holding your original will and this cannot be found after your death, there is a presumption that you have revoked the will. However this presumption can be rebutted by evidence of the facts surrounding the loss or destruction of the will. It is therefore very important that if you are holding your original will it is kept in a safe place and you advise your executors where the will can be found when it is needed.