The Doctrine of Dependent Relative Revocation

Doctrine of Dependent Relative Revocation, which has been described as somewhat overloaded with unnecessary polysyllables, applies whenever the intention to revoke a Will is conditional only and the condition is not fulfilled [Jarman on Wills, Eighth Edition]. Alexander v. Kirkpatrick, 2 Divorce 397 distinguishes between cases in which the later instrument contains express words of revocation and cases where there are no express words of revocation. As regards the latter it was said, “it appears that no case has been produced where either in Scotland or in England a mere alternative inconsistent disposition which is not valid or effectual in itself has been held to revoke an earlier disposition of the same property.

When the act of destruction is connected with the making of a new Will and no one contends Testatrix had executed any other Will subsequent to the original Will, then, by applying Principle of Dependent Relative Revocation, the Will even if revoked, the revocation fails and the original Will must be treated in force. Doctrine of Dependent Relative Revocation also does not absolve the burden of proving genuineness and due execution of the earlier Will and the further burden to dispel all the suspicious circumstances surrounding the execution.