What is an 'Exordium Clause'

An exordium clause is a clause that most often appears at the opening of a will, which officially declares that the document is a will. The word “exordium” means the beginning or introductory part of something, usually with reference to a document or composition.

BREAKING DOWN 'Exordium Clause'

The exordium clause also effectively lays out to the readers a few basic premises upon which the rest of the document is based. In this clause, the person who is creating the will, who is frequently known as the grantor, identifies themselves and specifies their role in establishing this legal document. An exordium clause is also commonly included as part of a living will or trust.

Contents of an exordium clause are likely to include:

1. Identity of the person who has left the will.
2. The name of the place of residence of that person. 
3. A revocation of all previous wills made by that person existing before the date that the current will was produced.
4. Declaration that the current document is the will belonging to the named person.

The exordium clause may also include an identification of certain relatives of the person who passed away and a list of the beneficiaries of the will. The clause serves to arrange the arguments for the will and identify the people and entities that are likely to play a key role in the procedures to follow.

Exordium Clause and Other Parts of a Will

A will can take many forms. It can be very simple and basic, or long and detailed. The specific components and length of a will often depends on the size of the estate and the volume or quantity of property and other assets that must be transferred or left to heirs. In addition, the will may also specify the person’s wishes with regards to guardianship or trusts for children, or the handling of other personal obligations or responsibilities. Some people even go so far as to make arrangements for the care of pets in their will.

The exordium clause is one of the initial parts of the will, and is often bundled with declarations, such as where the grantor states that they are of sound mind and capable of making legal decisions.

Other common, basic elements of a will are the identification of the executor(s), naming of beneficiaries, listing of assets, and assignments of those assets to beneficiaries in the form of bequests. A will also frequently includes details about the person’s desired funeral arrangements, burial services, and other information related to their final affairs.

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