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Probate wills

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lisasugg

Junior Member
I live in Arkansas. What do you do if the descedent has two wills. The last will was made while the person was undergoing chemotherapy and really had a mental breakdown. It does not state that the second will revokes the first will. How do we best handle this?
 


divgradcurl

Senior Member
lisasugg said:
I live in Arkansas. What do you do if the descedent has two wills. The last will was made while the person was undergoing chemotherapy and really had a mental breakdown. It does not state that the second will revokes the first will. How do we best handle this?
The general rule is that a later will revokes an earlier will. If a later will does not explicitly revoke an earlier will, then the general rule is that the later will will revoke the earlier will to the extent of the later will. In other words, the second will is a codicil of the first will. For example, if the decedent owns three homes, and the first will gives home A to X, home B to Y, and home C to Z, and the later will (which does not explicitly revoke the earlier will) give home A to Y and home B to X and says nothing about home C, then the distribution of home C will be governed by the first will, and the distribution of homes A and B will be covered by the second will. The second will, instead of revoking the first will, will instead be considered a codicil of the first will, and both wills will need to be entered into probate.

On the other hand, if the second will completely distributes the estate, then the first will is essentially revoked, even without the explicit language revoking the first will.

If there are any questions as to whether the second will completly revokes the first will, or if the second will is simple a codicil of the first will, or if there is some question as to the capacity to write the second will in the first place, it's probably worthwhile to get an attorney involved. Otherwidse, just enter both wills into probate, but know that the second will is the controlling will if there is a difference between the two wills.
 
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