The short answer is Yes! There are a few methods to revoke a will, but the testator (the person who signed the will) must have testamentary capacity in order for the revocation to be effective.
Revocation by New Last Will and Testament
Most typically, a valid Last Will and Testament is revoked by executing a new will that complies with all of the necessary requirements for a Georgia Last Will and Testament. However, a will that purports to revoke prior wills that is not itself valid, is not effective at revoking a prior valid will.
Revocation by Obliteration or Destruction
To effect a revocation of a will by obliteration, the testator must make material obliterations to the will and intend for the act to revoke the will. In the alternative, the testator can direct another person to do the destruction or obliteration to the original will, so long as the testator also has the intent for the act to revoke the will. If a material portion of the will is obliterated, then it is presumed that the testator intended to revoke the will in its entirety, unless there is substantial evidence to demonstrate otherwise. This method of revoking a will is less preferred because of the fact witness testimony may be necessary to establish the intent of the testator.
Revocation by Lost Will
If an original will is lost, Georgia law presumes that the testator revoked the will. However, there is hope if you want to probate a will and you can not find the original. Even if the original can not be located, the Court can accept a copy of the will if the court receives sufficient evidence that the testator never intended to revoke the will. When a copy of a will is offered for probate, the burden is on the propounder (the person filing the petition in the probate court) to rebut a presumption that the original will is lost and the testator intended to revoke it.
If you or loved one needs to discuss the possibility of revoking an existing Last Will and Testament or the consequences of a prior revocation, the estate planning lawyers at Durden & Mills, PC can assist you. Call us at (706) 543-4708 for a free consultation.