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Cancelling a will

A testator who wants to replace, or stop the operation of, an existing will should be sure that the existing will is revoked. A later will may revoke an earlier will by implication, that is, when the terms of the later will contradict the terms of the earlier will [see Wills Act 1936 (SA) s 22(b)]. However, this can lead to uncertainty, and so the inclusion of a revocation clause is preferable [s 22(c)].

A will can be revoked by tearing it up or otherwise destroying it provided it is with the intention of revoking the will. This must be done by the testator or the testator can ask someone else to do it [s 22 (d)].

Where a will has been revoked by means of:

  • a legal document revoking the will [s 22(b) and (c)]
  • destruction [s 22(d)]
  • registered relationship or marriage [s 22(a) and (ab)]

a person will die intestate unless a new will is made.

Cancelling a will  :  Last Revised: Mon Jan 6th 2020
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.