You can revoke a will by tearing it up or creating a new one – Legal expert

This should be done only when the content of the old will does not fulfill the prevailing desires of the testator

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Head of Paintsil, Paintsil & Co., an Accra-based law firm, Kweku Paintsil, has stated that a will can be revoked, either by destroying it before a witness or creating an entirely new will.

According to him, this should be done only when the content of the old will does not fulfill the prevailing desires of the testator (the one making the will).

Speaking on JoyNews’ The Law, Sunday, Kweku Paintsil said, “the rules provide that in those circumstances, you can tear it up, you must destroy it for people to see that you have destroyed the will.”

“You can also revoke a will by another document. Because, typically anytime we make a will, what we say is that this will, I hereby revoke all former testamentary scripts and whatever. That’s just a usual clause we put in,” he added.

He was, however, quick to mention that, in the event that a clause annulling all previous wills is omitted from the new will, provisions made in the old will, “will remain only to the extent of consistency.”

“I mean if it does not conflict with anything in the current will, but if it does, provisions of the current will, always override the previous one,” he explained.

He further explained that in case the testator only wishes to change a part of the testament, this could be done by using a codicil.

“A codicil is essentially an amendment to a will. The codicil, will recite the changes that you want to make in the old will,” he said.

He, however, stated that for convenience sake, creating a new will is more advisable.

“Because sometimes it happens that there are properties the person has listed in a will, which in the course of time, have been sold. Sometimes, somebody has made a will, 10 years, over the period, a lot of things have happened and some of the properties are not even there at all and so forth and so on.

“In these circumstances, it’s easier to make a new will in which you make a fresh list of what you have and what you don’t have, other than that, you make what we call a codicil.”