In Texas, a testator can revoke a will either by (1) a subsequent writing, or (2) by a physical act. Texas Probate Code § 63.
A subsequent writing can be a new will, a codicil, or a declaration in writing. New wills contain a clause that the revoke all prior wills and codicils. A codicil is a formal supplement or amendment to your original will.
It is important to note that document revoking a will must be in writing and executed under the same formalities required for the will. Simply writing a letter or a note will not suffice.
A will can also be destroyed by physical act such as tearing or burning. The physical act has to be done by the testator or at the testator’s instruction in his or her presence. The physical act also has to be coupled with the intent to revoke the will. So accidentally tearing a will does not revoke it and a third party destroying a will without being instructed to does not revoke it.
Requirements for revoking a holographic (handwritten) will differ slightly and will be discussed in a later post.
If you wish to update or revoke a will, you should contact an attorney to determine the best solution for your particular needs and situation.
Article by Sarah F. Berry.