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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.


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

See: contributor, decedent, grantor


the person who makes a WILL.

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
How is the distribution of assets through a will influenced by testator characteristics, beneficiary characteristics, and asset characteristics?
Those witnesses will likely almost always testify that the testator had adequate capacity, either because they were official 'legal' witnesses to the will-and therefore had to ensure that he or she had capacity-or because they would not have permitted the will signing to go forward absent their belief that the testator had testamentary capacity," he explains.
The testator can perform no comparable action initially to express intent to make any one of an infinite number of alternative distributions by will.
A testator may bequeath all his property or a part thereof to legal persons which will have to be established in executing the will, likewise to natural persons not yet conceived and born; 3.
Undoubtedly, the intent of the testator controls, governs, or determines the construction of a will.
This can serve as evidence demonstrating that the testator knew about the existence of these relatives, and speaks to his intent to leave them out of his will.
More than 15 states, including Illinois and Pennsylvania, tax a trust created by a resident testator or resident settlor (in the case of a living trust).
Just as Inuit testators resist straightforward celebrations of qimmiit as demonic or menacing figures of multiplicity, they describe specific dog teams as present in their memories, as collective figures evoking specific emotions for people whose everyday lives with them are likewise gone.
When the testator died in 2004, the defendant offered the 2003 will for probate.
The following persons have the capacity to inherit: 1) in succession by operation of law: natural persons who survived the bequeather at the moment of his death; children of the bequeather who were born after his death; likewise the State of Lithuania; 2) in succession pursuant to a will: natural persons who survived the testator at the moment of his death; likewise those who were conceived while the testator was still alive and were born after his death; persons named in the will before their conception, upon their birth; 3) in succession pursuant to a will: legal persons which existed at the moment of death of the testator, or established in executing the testator's true intent expressed in his will.
Sometimes, given the circumstances of the particular testator, the planning will take much longer than the actual preparation of the will.
Even less sophisticated are purely handwritten--or holographic--wills, where the testator doesn't even have the benefit of the legal language and prompts offered by the forms.