In most cases, the first Will that you make will not be the last one that you make. Your life circumstances change and your Will needs to change with them. However, what happens if you have more than one Will at a time? Which one is the effective Will that a Probate Court will use to divide your estate? The answer is simple on the surface, but can get complicated.
By law, writing a new Will automatically revokes any old Wills. The court will use the last-dated Will that it has before it. However, if you left something out of the later Will that is accounted for in the old Will, the court might use the old Will for that property. It is also possible that your heirs might not find the new Will and think that an older Will is the last one you made. Sometimes, heirs fight over which Will to use as they argue that a newer Will is fraudulent.
The best thing to do when you make a new Will is to make it clear that any old Wills are revoked. You can do this by destroying the old Wills. If you want to keep them for your records, write “Void” in big letters on the top of every page. That lets everyone know that you do not want the older Wills used. For these reasons, it is important to always use an attorney experienced in estate planning matters.
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