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Revoking a Will in the Estate Planning Process

There are many reasons why clients choose to revoke a will.  Family circumstances change, financial situations change, even minds get changed.  An elder care lawyer can help you determine when it is appropriate to revoke a will, as well as what happens next.

There are some common questions which go along with revoking a will, but one of the most asked is whether or not revoking the will revives a prior one.  The answer to this question is “probably not.”  When setting up your estate planning needs, your attorney will likely help you create a will.  If you decide to make changes and create a new will later, the previous version is no longer in effect.

Where the confusion lies is if the later will is then revoked.  Many people assume the previous version of the will is simply reinstated. This is often not the case.  Some places are considered “no revival” jurisdictions wherein the earlier version is not automatically revived.  Instead, it may be necessary to have a lawyer lay out options for re-signing or republishing the first will.

Estate planning law is constantly undergoing changes, so the best option for those and beyond is typically to contact an attorney to find out precisely what steps need to be taken to ensure your true wishes will be followed.  While it may seem obvious to you what you want, keep in mind it can be far less clear to your grieving loved ones who are left behind.

Additionally, if a new will is revoked and a previous one has not been automatically revived, then the courts will need to step in just as if you never had a will at all.  Even if you worked with an attorney to outline your wishes, without the signed, active document, your estate can end up going through the probate courts anyway.

For these reasons, and for simple peace of mind, it makes sense to seek out a qualified elder law lawyer to make sure all of your affairs are in order.  This professional can help you create a legal will, as well as consider if other options are appropriate for your estate.  Estate planning can be a rather overwhelming process, but a good attorney will be well versed in the law and will make sure you are able to have control over your own plans.

Hear From Our Clients
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I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce

Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!

- Marcia

I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!

- Ben