Who can make a Will? And can it be revoked?

Who Can Make a Will in Wisconsin? What Steps Do I Need to Follow?

In Wisconsin, “Any person of sound mind 18 years of age or older may make and revoke a will.”  Wis. Stats. 853.01.  While this rule gives most adults the ability to execute a will, there are still some particular formalities that need to be observed:

First, the will has to be in writing. 

Second, it must be signed by the testator (the person making the will). 

Third, two witnesses must either observe the testator signing the will, or receive acknowledgment from the testator of the testator’s signature on the will or of the will itself.  The witnesses may, but need not, observe the signing or acknowledgement at the same time.  A person is qualified to be a witness to a will signing or acknowledgment if they “would be competent to testify as a witness in court to the facts relating to execution.” Wis. Stats. 853.07.

Can a Will be Revoked?

The answer is generally yes.  If you create a new will that is otherwise executed properly under the law, a prior will or any part of a prior will can be revoked expressly under the new will or by inconsistency with the terms of the prior will. Wis. Stats. 853.11.  Revocation of a will can also occur by, among other examples, burning, tearing, or destroying a will.  However, revoking a will or parts of a will can often be a fact-dependent situation, and if you are looking to update or change your estate plans, an experienced attorney can help guide you through the process to ensure the outcome that you desire.

If you have any questions regarding estate planning, please contact Petit & Dommershausen, S.C. for a free consultation at (920) 739-9900.