Though it is relatively uncommon, some people choose to revive an old will that they had previously decided to revoke. Like all other aspects of wills, will revivals can only be accomplished if they comply with state law. In North Dakota, it is possible to revive a revoked or old will if you take the appropriate actions. Here are some commonly asked questions about the revival of a previously revoked will in North Dakota.
What is a will revival?
The revival of a will occurs when someone chooses to take an old will that they had previously revoked and make it their current will. For example, let’s say you made a last will and testament when you were a young adult. After getting married and having children, you decided to update your will to reflect your new situation. Many years later, your children are now adults and you are divorced from your former spouse. In this situation you might want to go back to the terms of your previous will. You can do this be revoking the current will and reviving the old version.
Will revoking my current will automatically revive the old will?
No. North Dakota law says that any previews will you make is not automatically revived when you revoke your current will. However, you can revive the old will when you revoke your current will if the circumstances of your revocation indicate it is your desire to do so. In other words, you have to intend that the act of revoking your current will should revive the old one.
What circumstances can show my intent to revive my old will?
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and the best way to revive an old will is to formally execute the old will. When you make a last will and testament, you have to sign the document and do so in the presence of two witnesses. If you want to revive an old will, it’s best that you go through this signing and witnessing ceremony again. This is especially true if it’s been several years or longer since you created the old will. If you revoke your current will and re-execute the old one in a revival, it will be much easier for a court to accept the revived document.
Should I revive my old will?
That depends on your individual circumstances. However, as a general principle, it’s almost always better to simply create a new last will and testament than it is to try to revive an old one. Writing a new will is not complicated, and you will usually need to make some changes to make your old will reflect your current wishes.