Question: I made a will with a solicitor in Dublin a number of years ago. My circumstances have changed entirely and I now want to revoke that will but I have not yet made up my mind about what to put in my new will. Is it enough for me to write or telephone the solicitor in Dublin and tell him to destroy my will?
The short answer to your question is no. It would not be sufficient to write or phone the Dublin solicitor and instruct him to destroy the will. Section 85 of the Succession Act, 1965 provides that if you wish to revoke your will by destroying it you yourself must carry out the destruction or alternatively the destruction can be carried out by somebody else at your direction but it must be in your presence. Therefore writing to or phoning the solicitor in Dublin would not be sufficient.
You could write to the solicitor in Dublin and tell him what you intend and ask him to send the original will to you so that you can destroy it yourself. I would suggest that you carry out the destruction in the presence of at least one witness so that there will be no doubt about the matter.
A will can also be revoked by another will or by a written declaration of intention to revoke but this written declaration must be executed in the same manner in which a will is executed. Even if you have not yet made up your mind on your new will you could call to a local solicitor and ask him or her to prepare and attend to the execution of the declaration of revocation. Perhaps, even if you have not entirely made up your mind as to what you intend to do with all your assets after your death you can always do a partial will in respect of those about which you have made a decision. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on this.