There are various ways to revoke a will. This can be done by the person who made the Will in the first place. But there are also some circumstances where a Will can be revoked automatically, by operation of the law. Even if the person who made the Will, did not intend to revoke it. 


Intentionally revoking a Will 


A person can revoke their Will while they are alive and have legal capacity. A clause in a Will indicating that the Will cannot be revoked has no legal effect. The person who made the Will, is still able to revoke the Will.

In practical terms, the destruction of the original signed Will, combined with the intention to revoke the Will, is a valid means of revoking a Will. if there is an electronic version of the Will, it should be deleted or amended, to reflect the fact that this Will is no longer valid. 

Additionally, because disputes over a will generally arise after the death of a person who has made the Will, you should make some record of your intent to revoke the Will. For example, a revocation clause in a new, or if you are not making a new Will, some other signed written document indicating that you intend to destroy your Will and allow the intestacy rules to apply. 

It is in the best interests of the executors and beneficiaries of your Will, to have as little ambiguity or confusion as possible in your Will. Meaning they can easily complete the necessary administration of the Will, rather than having to worry about figuring out your intentions. 


Marriage- Automatic Will Revocation 


If you are getting married or entering into a civil partnership, then any Will that you have made prior to this will be automatically revoked. The exception to this rule, is when you have made an anticipation of the marriage or civil partnership with, the particular person involved. 


Divorce or Annulment


Once a marriage or civil partnership is over, any gifts intended for the spouse stated in a Will will automatically lapse. However, the remainder of the Will may continue to be valid. 

Although, this can have consequences. For example, if the spouse were to be given a life interest in a particular asset, with the asset to go to another beneficiary on her death, the other beneficiary would immediately get the full interest in the asset when the person who made the will dies – because the spouse’s life interest in the asset would have lapsed.


Contact Us 


To discuss automatic and intended revocation of a Will with our team of experts at Beeston Shenton, please get in touch. Call us on 01782 662424 or email us at