Tearing of Will Law and Legal Definition

Tearing of a will refers to an act of tearing of paper on which the will is written. The act of tearing must be done with an intention to revoke the will.

In Burton v. Wylde, 261 Ill. 397 (Ill. 1913), the court held “the word tearing include cutting, and it need not be the cutting of the whole will. Any act of tearing which is manifest upon the paper on which the will is written, however slight it may be, is an act of tearing, if done with the intention of revoking the will. This is equally true whether a necessary part of the will is torn off, like the signature of testator or of witnesses or a part of the dispositive part of the will, leaving the residue, or whether an unnecessary part of the will is torn away, such as a seal where a will need not be under seal.