eraser-795768_1280There are several ways to revoke a Will in Utah, but some changes in circumstances may lead you to inadvertently render it ineffective as well.

The most effective way to revoke a Will is to execute a new Will that expressly revokes “all previously Wills or Codicils heretofore executed by me,” or using similar language. After that point, you should destroy all copies of the old Will and make sure everybody involved in your estate plan knows about the new Will.

Another way to revoke a Will is through inconsistency. If your new Will completely disposes of your estate, then your old Will is revoked by this method. If the new Will does not dispose of the entire estate, then the new Will is viewed as a supplement to the old Will. For obvious reasons, this method has its downsides and is rarely, if ever, recommended by professionals.

If you are not executing a new instrument, then you can revoke a will through actions. This has do be done intentionally, for the purpose of revoking the Will, and by burning, tearing, or otherwise destroying the Will. If this is how you plan to revoke a Will, I suggest you do so in front of several witnesses, and that you destroy all copies as well.

Finally, a change in circumstances can void your Will as it applies to one person. One of these situations involves someone who intentionally killed the deceased. If the Will of the deceased left something to the killer, then that portion of the Will is considered revoked.

The other circumstance that negates a portion of a Will involves marriage and divorce. If your spouse is mentioned in your Will, and you later divorce, those provisions are generally considered revoked. Likewise, if you write a Will and later marry, your Will remains effective, but the new spouse can negate the Will as it applies to them, effectively leaving half or all of the estate to them.