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GA Supreme Court Rules Handwritten Changes to Will Don’t Revoke

In Peterson v. Harrell, decided February 1, 2010, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that a will in which the testator struck out portions of language with a pen was valid.

Under Georgia law, the intent to revoke a will can be presumed from the cancellation of a material portion of the will.

 The court ruled that the ink pen marks, which crossed out the names of successor beneficiaries and the executor and listed an alternate executor, did not show that the testator wished to revoke her will. The court pointed out that the will was found in good condition on her desk and that she had initialed the changes. The court found that the testator only intended to cancel certain parts of the will and not to revoke the will in its entirety.