Question 1. What is a will revival?
When people create a last will and testament, they have to meet specific requirements as dictated by the law. As long as you meet these requirements, a court will accept your will as a valid expression of your last wishes.
In some situations, people who make a will later decide to change the document. This is fairly common, and as long as your new will meets the same requirements as your old will, you can change your will whenever you like. When people make a new will, they typically cancel the old will by including a clause that says any old wills they created are revoked.
Though changing the will is common, people sometimes decide that, for whatever reason, they want to change back to the old will. This is known as a will revival. Through a revival, you effectively take the old will and say that it accurately represents your wishes. Revivals also revoke any current will you have.
Question 2. How do I revive a will?
There are three ways to revive an old will in the state of New York.
The first way is to create a codicil. A codicil is simply an amendment you make to your current will. The codicil has to be in writing, and must meet the same requirements that a will must meet. In your codicil, you’ll have to state that you revoke the most current version of your will, and revive the old version.
The second way to revive the will is to execute a new written document in which you specifically state that you wish to revive your old will. As with the codicil, this written document must meet the same execution criteria as wills or codicils.
The third, and final, way to revive an old will is to re-execute it. To re-execute a will, you will have to go through the same signing and witnessing process you did when you created the will in the first place. This means you will have to print out the old will you wish to revive, sign it, and do so in the presence of two capable adult witnesses. Those witnesses will then also have to sign the will just as they did when you created the original document.