Where there’s a will, there’s a way of revoking it or a wasiat effectively

There may be situations whereby after the testator has executed his or her will or wasiat, he or she finds it necessary to revoke it.

The reasons for it can be many, though inconsequential. The aim here is simply to explain how it can be done.

Indeed, a will can be easily revoked, but it must be carried out in accordance with the law.

That said, it is a relatively straightforward process, though not necessarily akin to the joyous experience of shredding incriminating evidence, as allegedly done by the excellent team at 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

Anyway, in the Malaysian context, the revocation of a will is strictly regulated by statute, specifically, Section 14 of the Wills Act, 1959, which provides, inter alia, that any of the following options to be taken before the same can legally take effect:

1. Executing another will; or
2. Making a written declaration to that effect and witnessed in the same manner a will is to be witnessed on execution; or
3. By the burning, tearing, or otherwise destroying (in totality) the will/wasiat by the testator; or
4. By some person in his presence and by his direction, with the intention of revoking the same.

To reiterate, doing any of the above will effectively revoke a will or wasiat.

However, it is important to be mindful again that you do not need to have a sound reason for doing so, or any reason for that matter, provided, at the time of revocation, you intended that revocation, and are mentally sound, as measured by law, and not by your inadequately compensated ex.

And once revoked in accordance with the law, that should be the end of the matter, failing which, there can still be a legitimate presumption that the will or wasiat remains valid and subsisting.

Finally, for lawyers instructed to draft and/or witness the execution of wills or wasiat, it would be helpful that testators are made aware of that right to revoke, so that they may act accordingly, should and when the need arises.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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