Revocation means to cancel the will. There can be no revocation of a will on the basis that the testator must be presumed to have an intention to revoke the will in the light of the altered circumstances. A will may be revoked in one of the following three ways:
1. A subsequent will or codicil: A codicil is a document subsequent to a will which can augment or reduce or revoke the earlier will. Revocation here can be express or implied. Express revocation is ususally the case as in wills, there is a standard revocation clause which says "This is my last will and testament. I revoke all former wills". Implied revocation occurs when there is a subsequent will but the former has not been expressly revoked, thus, where there are inconsistent provisions in the first will are revoked. Where there are two wills which are not in conflict, the two wills can stand side by side.
2. By destruction with an intention to revoke the will by the testator or by some person in the presence of the testator and by his direction. The following three requirements must be met and concurrently present: a. act of destruction, such as 'burning, tearing or otherwise destroying'. The mere cancellation of a will does not amount to an act of destruction; b. The destruction must be made by the testator or by some one at his direction and in his presence; and c. an intention to revoke -" animus revocandi". Where destruction of the will took place accidentally, the will is not revoked as there is no intention to revoke. If any of the three are not present there is no revocation. The will may still be proved by oral evidence, that is, someone recalling the contents or by means of a copy of the will.
3. By subsequent marriage. Where a person marries subsequent to his drawing up of a will, this will is revoked upon the marriage. 4. There is a fourth which does not occur by virtue of the Wills Act but at law. Where the Testator revoked a previous will in contemplation of making a second will and fails to do this, the courts will hold that the revocation of the first will as unrevoked. The ultimate guide is the intention of the testator.