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Related to testator: executor


One who makes or has made a will; one who dies leaving a will.

A testator is a person who makes a valid will. A will is the document through which a deceased person disposes of his property. A person who dies without having made a will is said to have died intestate.

A testator must be of sound mind when making a will. In part to ensure that a testator is of sound mind, states require that the signing of a will be witnessed by multiple persons. A testator also should be making the will without duress and free of coercion from other persons. If the testator is not acting of her own free will in consenting to the terms of the will, a court may later void all or part of it.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. a person who has written a will which is in effect at the time of his/her death. (See: will)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


the person who makes a WILL.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

TESTATOR. One who has made a testament or will.
     2. In general, all persons may be testators. But to this rule there are various exceptions. First, persons who are deprived of understanding cannot make wills; idiots, lunatics and infants, are among this class. Secondly, persons who have understanding, but being under the power of others, cannot freely exercise their will; and this the law presumes to be the case with a married woman, and, therefore, she cannot make a will without the express consent of her husband to the particular will. When a woman makes a will under some general agreement on the part of the husband that she shall make a will, the instrument is not properly a will, but a writing in the nature of a will or testament. Thirdly, persons who are deprived of their free will cannot make a testament; as, a person in duress. 2 Bl. Com. 497; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 2102, et seq. See Devisor; Duress; Feme covert;, Idiot; Influence; Parties to Contracts; Testament; Wife; Will.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Many heirs complain of excessive bureaucracy in dealing with the Capital Market Authority in relation to a testator's investment accounts.
Such waivers may serve as a protection against the disruption of a testator's estate plan and prevent the liquidation of family property.
The booklet sites one extreme example in the Commonwealth where a court ruled as valid a Will that was written on an eggshell!SIGNATUREbrWhen it comes to signing the Will, the booklet explains that a thumb print, initials, assumed name, or mark by a rubber stamp with the testators name are valid signatures.brA signature need not even consist of a name at all the words your loving mother placed at the end of the document were held to be a valid signature by one court.
If the testator leaves someone a gift absolutely, rather than putting it into a trust, but then tries to impose terms upon what the beneficiary is to do with the gift after they receive it, those terms won't be enforceable.
The spokesperson said: "Any person can bequeath his/her estate to males and females equally and in case of his/her death, the assets will be distributed by the court as stated in the testator's will."
The question here is whether the testator intended these to be "contents of said real estate." Trucks and farm equipment, however, present a more difficult question.
At the same time, the deathbed provided a ritual setting for the creation of a will that at least clarified a testator's intent to make it legally performative.
Mihaela Moldoveanu, senior manager at the Dubai International Financial Centre's Wills and Probate Registry (WPR), said the eight-month-old registry's records show that the youngest non-Muslim testator in Dubai is just 23 years old.
The 2015 decision of Spence v BMO Trust Company (1) determined by Gilmore J in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, and the related 2016 appeal decision of the same name (2) decided by Justices of Appeal Cronk, Lauwers and van Rensburg in the Court of Appeal for Ontario, address this question in the context of a will made by a testator that excluded one of his two daughters from provision on the basis that the excluded daughter had given birth to a child fathered by a white man.
It may be prepared by the testator (person who makes the Will).
Indeed, wills are most frequently contested by beneficiaries who claim the document itself is invalid, either because it was executed without the requisite formalities or because the testator lacked capacity, was induced to sign the instrument against her free will, or revoked it in favor of some alternative disposition.