The revocation clause revokes all of the wills and codicils that you (the testator) have made in the past. The purpose of the revocation clause is to prevent any of your earlier wills and codicils from having any legal effect after your new simple will is executed.1 Revoking your earlier wills and codicils helps ensure that the earlier wills and codicils no longer have any legal effect.
Even if you have never made a will or codicil before, you should include the revocation clause in your simple will. Having a revocation clause in your simple will will help remove any doubt about your intent that your simple will should be the only document that controls the distribution of your probate assets after you die.
Your revocation clause will become effective when you execute your simple will.
Before you continue, stop and read about revocation and its consequences.
Write Your Revocation Clause
Open your copy of the simple will. The revocation clause should already be there. It is the first numbered clause in the simple will. It looks like this:
1. REVOCATION OF PRIOR WILLS AND CODICILS
I hereby revoke all former Wills and Codicils which I have made.
There is no need to change this revocation clause. Just leave it in place, and move onto the next part of your simple will.
- If you have any need or desire to leave any portion of any of your earlier wills or codicils in effect, you should stop and talk with an attorney about whether to use a revocation clause and how to draft an appropriate revocation clause for your purposes. ↩