Destroy the will.

A will may be revoked if it is physically destroyed. However, the testator—the person who created the will—must be the one to destroy it or must otherwise be present when the will is being destroyed.

What to Do to Revoke Your Will

Before writing a new will or ripping up an old one, you should consult with your estate planning attorney to see if you have any better options. If, for instance, you wish to disinherit a beneficiary or add a new heir, you may be better served modifying your existing will instead of creating a new one.

Any major change in life circumstance should be cause to prompt an estate review—especially if and when the change is big enough to warrant the revocation of a will.

Even if you have no alternative to revocation, you need to ensure that you are revoking your will in accordance with California state law. An attorney can help you close up any loose ends and assist in reworking your entire estate plan.


Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.