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IV. Revocation of Wills

Usually a person has to take action to revoke his/her own Will. For example, this might be done by making a new Will or tearing the existing Will into pieces. A circumstance that is often overlooked is the revocation of a Will by the normal operation of law due to a subsequent marriage (a marriage that occurred after the Will was made).


A marriage subsequent to the execution of a Will automatically revokes the Will unless it is proved that the Will was drafted in contemplation of that marriage. For example, a clause is inserted in the Will stating that the subsequent marriage with a named person shall not revoke the Will.


On the other hand, it should be noted that a divorce subsequent to the making of a Will does not automatically revoke that Will. However, if there are any specific terms in that Will which allow the former spouse to take some assets from the deceased's estate, these terms may be void unless a contrary intention is proved.


Republication & Revival

Republication: Republication is a legal process that reaffirms an unrevoked will. This can be achieved by re-executing the will or by referencing the will in a later codicil.


Revival: If a will has been fully or partially revoked, it may be revived by either re-executing the original will or by executing a codicil that clearly demonstrates an intention to revive the will.  Please see s. 17 of the Wills Ordinance (Cap. 30).