When a Testator' makes a valid Will, it can only be revoked in three ways: by the Testator making another Will or codicil; by them signing a revocation provision (a Will drafted by a lawyer will always include this provision) or by destruction. The Testator must have the intention to revoke the will. The testator is the only person allowed to validly destroy their own Will. A Will can either be destroyed directly by the Testator. The testator may also direct a third party in his presence. However, where a Testator destroys his Will and does not tell anybody why they have destroyed it, it can lead to confusion and disagreements after he has died.
In the event a Will cannot be located upon a person's death, there is a presumption that the Will was intentionally destroyed by the Testator and therefore revoked. This may not always be the case as sometimes Wills are simply lost or accidentally destroyed. However, once the Testator dies, it is often very difficult to rebut this presumption, and can lead to the Estate passing under intestacy or under a previous Will.
Nevertheless, the courts have recognised this and as such there are a few ways in which this presumption of revocation is rebutted. For example, the presumption could be rebutted by evidence of accidental loss or of conversations between friends/relations and the deceased. Wills are also revoked by marriage , but a Will is not revoked by divorce.
The recent case of Singh v Vozniak (2016) in England is a prime example of why it is important to inform people of your wishes and the location of your Will. .
It is very important to keep a will safe and therefore you must keep a will in a safe place and tell the executor where it is kept. A will is normally kept in a safe deposit box. It is important to have a valid Will which accurately reflects your wishes.
Legal fees on drafting and witnessing a will: $1000-$1500 (simple clauses with one executor and one beneficiary, passing the entire asset profile without specifically described)
"We make more than 200 wills for clients every month, leading on preparing and writing wills." Tommy Lo, Solicitor of Yip Tse & Tang