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Washington Will Contests > Based on Revocation

 

Checklist for Invalidating a Purported Will Based on Revocation

(ie, not a "True" Will Contest & not subject to the four-month statute)

  1. How Can a Will Be Revoked?

    1. Revocation by the Testator

    2. Revocation by Operation of Law

  2. Revival of Wills

  3. Dependent Relative Revocation

  4. Effect of Ineffective Revocation

 

We have seen The requirements in Washington to have a Will valid at its making remain valid at the Testator's death.  Given those requirements, we may now make a checklist for invalidating a purported Will (or some of its provisions) based on revocation:

 

 

A.  How Can a Will Be Revoked?   

 

1.  Revocation by the Testator   

 

23.  The document has been expressly revoked by its maker.

24.  One or more provisions of the document have been expressly revoked by its maker.

25.  One or more provisions of the document are inconsistent with a later Will or Codicil of its maker.

26.  The document has been burned etc. with the intent and for the purpose of revoking by its maker.

27.  The document has been burned etc. with the intent and for the purpose of revoking by another, in the presence and by the direction of its maker, and such can be proved by two competent and disinterested witnesses.

28.  One or more provisions of the document have been crossed out etc. resulting in a new or substantially enhanced gift under the document.

 

2.  Revocation by Operation of Law   

 

29.  The document contains a testamentary gift to the maker's spouse (subject to an exception), and the maker's marriage has since been declared invalid or dissolved.

30.  The document does not contain a testamentary gift to the maker's surviving spouse (unless intentional), and the maker has since married and dies leaving a surviving spouse.

31.  The document does not contain a testamentary gift to all of the maker's surviving children (unless intentional), and the maker has since had or adopted a child and dies leaving that child.

 

 

B.  Revival of Wills   

 

[Not applicable: Revival can only revive a prior Will, not revoke it.]

 

 

C.  Dependent Relative Revocation   

 

[Not applicable: Dependent relative revocation can only effectively reinstate a prior Will, not revoke it.]

 

 

D.  Effect of Ineffective Revocation   

 

[Not applicable: Ineffective revocation of a later Will has no effect on a prior Will.]

 

Note:  None of the foregoing problems would affect the validity of a Will upon its execution --- only after its execution.  Consequently, any Will Contest based upon any of the foregoing defects would NOT be a Will Contest under RCW 11.24.010 and therefore not subject to the four-month Will Contest statute of limitations period.

 


 

In addition to all the above, however, there is another way to invalidate a purported Will:

 

The Will is not really the Will of the Testator in question.
See:
Invalidating a Will "for Lack of a Testator."

 

 

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