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By: Scott Grossman on September 4th, 2016

Old California Wills Must Be Properly Revoked: 7 Questions



When a decedent executed more than one version of a will during his or her lifetime, a beneficiary or heir might later try to argue that the original version of the will was never properly revoked. If this beneficiary or heir is correct, the terms of the older will shall prevail. If you are the beneficiary or heir of an estate and believe that a prior version of the California will was not revoked, contact an experienced San Diego probate court attorney for guidance.

When considering whether you might have grounds to challenge the admission of a will based upon a previously executed will that was not validly revoked, assess the following questions:

  1. Did the terms of the alleged newer version of the will revoke all or part of the old will?
  2. Was the old will burned?
  3. Was the old will torn?
  4. Was the old will canceled?
  5. Was the old will obliterated or destroyed?
  6. Was the old will burned, torn, canceled, obliterated, or destroyed with the intent of revoking it?
  7. Was the old will burned, torn, canceled, obliterated, or destroyed by the testator or in his or her presence and at his or her direction?

The answers to the above questions will help determine whether the older version of the will was ever properly revoked. If it was not properly revoked, you may have grounds to contest the admission of the newer will in the San Diego probate court.

As you begin any form of San Diego probate litigation or California will contest matter, it is important that you take the proper steps throughout the process. It is also vital that you avoid speaking to other parties about the case. Our article, “California Will Contestants Should Not Talk to Other Parties in Their Case,” explains why.

To learn more about whether a will was validly executed or revoked under California law, contact a San Diego probate court litigation attorney today. Call our toll-free number at (888) 443-6590 for a consultation.

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The Grossman Law Firm, APC (951) 523-8307