A will may be revoked at any time before the testator's death unless he is under contract not to revoke.
A will is a revocable instrument. It confers no rights except upon the death of the testator. It takes effect upon death and then only. A will is completely within the power of the testator until his death and he may make any number of wills, and yet finally die intestate.
A will may be revoked by another will or codicil or by burning, tearing, obliterating, canceling with the intention of revoking, or it may be revoked by certain circumstances, as subsequent marriage.
How a will must be revoked is governed by local statutes. However, we may say generally, that a will may be revoked in the following manners: First, by another will or a codicil expressly declaring revocation or revoking by implication because covering the same ground. A will does not necessarily revoke the former will, although as a matter of fact it usually does because it covers the same subject matter. It is also customary not to leave anything to implication but to expressly revoke all former wills. A will may also be revoked by tearing, obliterating, burning, canceling, and the like, by the testator or by someone for him in his presence and at his direction with the intention of revoking it. If a will is lost or destroyed it is still in force if there was no intention of revoking it and the destruction was not by the testator or someone for him. It is possible for the testator to revoke a part of a will by obliterating or canceling clauses therein but this is not advisable. Any interlineations made by him are of no effect unless th^ will is subsequently republished and rewitnessed, otherwise he could make a will without complying with the law of wills. If a testator should write on the bottom of a will or in the margin or even across the face of it "I hereby revoke this will" that would be without effect because it is not a revocation in the manner provided by law.
A will is also usually revoked by subsequent marriage of the testator upon the theory that this is a change of circumstances which he did not have in mind when he made the will.111 Subsequent birth of child does not now revoke the will although in many states it amounts to a partial revocation. In this case the child will take his portion as heir, the other gifts abating to that extent unless in the will an express intent to disinherit the child
III.At common law marriage of testator alone did not revoke; but marriage and birth of child did. Marriage alone of a testatrix revoked her will. Statutes in many states have made marriage alone sufficient in either case.
appears; and this is sometimes advisable because the testator wants to leave his entire estate to the other parent relying upon such person to properly care for the child and thus keeping the estate from being tied up until the child becomes of age.