Does Revoking My Will Revive a Prior Will?

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I received a question from someone who wondered whether revoking a current will would revive a will that was signed previously. Unfortunately, I seem to have accidentally deleted the email before responding directly. My apologies! I hope this article will answer the writer’s questions.

Suppose a testator signs a will, but a few years later signs a new will that contains specific language revoking all previously made wills or codicils. Suppose also, that after signing the new will, the testator has a change of heart, and tears up the new will with the intention of revoking it. In this situation, is the first will revived?

In Texas, the answer is no. Texas is a “no revival” jurisdiction, meaning that if the new will is revoked, the first will is not revived automatically. The only way to revive the first will would be to either sign the it again, with all the proper formalities, or republish the first will by codicil.

If the new will is revoked and the first will has not been signed again or republished, then the testator’s estate will pass though the intestacy statutes as though the testator didn’t have a will.

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