Effect of Last Will’s Revocation on Earlier Will

Under Tennessee law, does revocation of a last will and testament automatically reinstate the immediately preceding last will?

No:

It is well-settled that the mere fact that a decedent destroyed his or her last will does not warrant a finding that the decedent intended to revive an earlier will. “This fact alone would furnish too slight a basis upon which to find the testator’s intention. It is necessary to prove circumstances bearing on the intention to revive the first will. If the circumstances indicate an intention to die intestate the former will cannot be admitted to probate.”

In re Estate of Powell, 2007 WL 3087687 (Tenn. Ct. App.), citing Ewell v. Rucker, 187 S.W.2d 644 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1945).

Posted by Joel D. Roettger, JD, LLM, EPLS

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