Testamentary Will

DEFINITION of 'Testamentary Will'

A testamentary will is a traditional will, sometimes referred to as just a will. A will is a legal document that is used to transfer an estate to beneficiaries after the death of the testator (the person that makes the will). Testamentary wills are also used to appoint guardians for minor children, select executors of wills and set up trusts for beneficiaries. Any person over the age of majority and that is of sound mind can legally draft a will.

BREAKING DOWN 'Testamentary Will'

Every will must contain the following: a) Clear indication that the testator is the maker of the will b) A statement by the testator that he or she revokes any previous wills or codicils c) A statement by the testator that demonstrates that he or she is of sound and mind and is not under duress to dispose the property, and d) a signature that is at the end of the will. Any words that come after the end of the signature will be ignored by the court.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Testamentary Trust

    A legal and fiduciary relationship created through explicit instructions ...
  2. Holographic Will

    A holographic will is a will that is handwritten and signed by ...
  3. Alternate Beneficiary

    In a will, an alternate beneficiary is usually named in case ...
  4. Executor

    An individual appointed to administrate the estate of a deceased ...
  5. Executrix

    A female individual who is responsible for executing the provisions ...
  6. Personal Trust

    A trust created for a person or persons. Personal trusts can ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    The Executor's Checklist: 7 Things To Do Before They Die

    Being an executor comes with a lot of responsibility, and these tips will reduce the complications that can come with the job.
  2. Financial Advisor

    4 Things To Consider Before Becoming An Estate Executor

    Executing a will takes more work than you might think. Make sure you are up to the task before agreeing to be an executor.
  3. Retirement

    Ethical Wills Share Final Thoughts With Heirs

    This document allows a testator, the person making the will, to leave a personal legacy.
  4. Managing Wealth

    Which Estate Transfer Technique is Right for You?

    This article explains the difference between the two estate transfer methods -- a will and a trust, and the circumstances under which each can be used.
  5. Managing Wealth

    What To Do When You're Left Out Of A Will

    Discover the legal steps you can take if you are left out of a will and if fighting is worth the effort.
  6. Personal Finance

    Who is a Beneficiary?

    A beneficiary is a person or entity that receives funds, assets, property or other benefits from a trust, will, or life insurance policy.
  7. Managing Wealth

    What's a Trust?

    A trust is a fiduciary relationship in which one party gives another party the right to hold property or assets on behalf of a beneficiary.
  8. Retirement

    6 Estate Planning Must-Haves

    You need an estate plan even if you don't have significant assets. Learn what you need to include in yours.
  9. Personal Finance

    Designating A Minor As An IRA Beneficiary

    Leaving liquid assets like cash or securities to minors can be a complicated procedure. Make sure you understand how your gift will be distributed, managed and taxed.
  10. Retirement

    How To Choose The Right Executor For Your Estate

    Making a careful choice now can save your heirs from a lot of problems later.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do we get more information about a testamentary trust?

    There are 17 beneficiaries on a $900K testamentary trust. The bank and our advisor tell us it's in the closing ... Read Answer >>
  2. How is maintenance of standard of living for survivors accomplished in estate planning?

    Understand what elements of an estate plan can assist in creating certainty for survivors that allows them to maintain their ... Read Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between an intervivos trust and a testamentary trust?

    Understand the differences between a testamentary trust and an inter-vivos (living) trust, and learn why each is important ... Read Answer >>
  4. How to name a trust as a secondary beneficiary on life insurance?

    My spouse is the first beneficiary on my life policy. How do I correctly word my trust as the secondary? Do I specially name ... Read Answer >>
  5. Partial IRA Beneficiary Disclaimer, can I designate the 75% to my three brothers?

    My sister in law resides in Colorado and she is the executor of her mother's will and is named as primary beneficiary ... Read Answer >>
  6. How do I handle the taxes 1099-R contributions?

    Total employee’s contributions on the 1099 R form are $18,822.00. Does the executor of the estate ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Put Option

    An option contract giving the owner the right, but not the obligation, to sell a specified amount of an underlying security ...
  2. Frexit

    Frexit – short for "French exit" – is a French spinoff of the term Brexit, which emerged when the United Kingdom voted to ...
  3. AAA

    The highest possible rating assigned to the bonds of an issuer by credit rating agencies. An issuer that is rated AAA has ...
  4. GBP

    The abbreviation for the British pound sterling, the official currency of the United Kingdom, the British Overseas Territories ...
  5. Diversification

    A risk management technique that mixes a wide variety of investments within a portfolio. The rationale behind this technique ...
  6. European Union - EU

    A group of European countries that participates in the world economy as one economic unit and operates under one official ...
Trading Center