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.

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