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Related to testators: testatrix, testacy


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 ?
Recent analysis of 206 probate records in Victoria (Baker & Gilding 2011) demonstrated that most testators leave their estates to their immediate family (partners and children); most testators with (97.
As Gulliver and Tilson observed, the need to protect testators from duress or undue influence depends upon their vulnerability.
Generally, the Lithuanian legal system enables the testator to bequeath his/her estate, its part or a single thing to the society for useful or charitable purposes.
51) It may also be advisable to arrange for a witness to be present during these meetings who would be able to testify as to the competency of the testator in an articulate and convincing way.
Decoupling the extinctionist ideologies that portend the end for Inuit dogs and cultures in Qallunaat histories following relocation to settlements, the stories of QTC testators extend and enrich the descriptions of academics, artists, and others referenced below of how carefully cultivated relations of mutuality operate as a cornerstone of Inuit culture.
If a testator provides that an amount equal to the maximum amount that can pass free of federal tax will pass to designated individuals or in trust, the dollar amount of the bequest can be relatively easy to determine, especially if the transfer is made in cash or marketable securities.
231) In Schilling, the testator had executed a will in 1996 that left her entire estate to the plaintiff, her brother.
In other words, a testator enjoys testamentary freedom only so long as he or she makes adequate provision for the surviving spouse and children protected by the Wills Variation Act.
Bear in mind that the cost of making a will meant that they were rarely made unless a) the testator was really old or b) was ill and likely to die - anyone who contracted a serious illness 200 plus years ago was not likely to survive.
7) Conversely, states basing their tax solely on resident testators or resident settlors will be difficult or impossible to plan for, (8) unless accumulated income or capital gains can be distributed to beneficiaries who do not reside in the original state.
Instead, we wish to focus on one species of legal mechanism whereby testators have sought to impose their wishes upon future generations, namely, the so-called testamentary condition in restraint of religion.