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Destroying a will
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Home / Making a Will / Changing your Will / Destroying a will

If you want to destroy your will you should burn it, tear it up or otherwise destroy. Once you have destroyed it in one of these manners the will is revoked providing that you clearly intended to destroy the will.

Is a will that has been accidentally destroyed still valid?

In order to revoke a will by destroying it the person whose will it is must have intended to destroy the will. Where a person accidentally destroys their will the will, therefore, remains valid. From a practical point of view it would, however, be sensible to prepare a new will in such circumstances.

Do copies of the will also need to be destroyed?

Only an original will is a valid will. However, if copies remain, it may be thought that the destruction of the will was accidental. For this reason it is sensible to destroy any copies of the will at the same time. If copies of the will cannot be found to avoid any future confusion it would be sensible to prepare a new will as a new will will supersede the earlier one.

Can I ask someone to destroy my will for me?

A “testator” (the person whose will it is) can ask another person to destroy the will for them. However, the will must be destroyed in the presence of the testator. Simply asking someone to destroy a will is not sufficient.

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Single Will or Mirror Wills?

If you are a couple and wish to leave all your assets to each other then you could save money by making  Mirror Wills. You can also use Mirror Wills if you whish to leave your estate to the same beneficiaries. 
If you wish to leave different legacies, appoint different executors or you would like to specify individual funeral wishes then you will need to make two Single Wills.
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