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What Is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is the process of organizing an estate to help with future and after death goals/concerns. Estate planning typically includes transferring property and assets upon a person’s death.
What is a Last Will and Testament?
A will is a written document made to communicate how a person wants property distributed after his death.
What is a Testator?
A testator is an individual who makes a last will and testament. A testatrix is used to describe a female testator, or individual who makes her last will and testament.
What Does It Mean for the Testator Being in Sound Mind and Body?
A person can’t make a valid will unless he can meet the testamentary capacity. This means the person must be able to understand what he or she is doing and:
- Be the age of majority (usually 18)
- Own property and assets to be distributed upon his death
- Not have any mental defects that prevent him or her from creating a will
- Must be able to identify the recipients he or she wants to give his property to
- Must not be forced or under duress to make a will
Can the Terms Testator and Executor be Used Interchangeably?
No. A testator is an individual who makes a will. An executor is someone the testator elects to distribute property upon his death.
What is a Devisee?
A devisee is an individual named in a will to inherit property. A devisee is commonly known as an heir or beneficiary.
Can I Make Provisions Regarding When a Devisee Dies Before Me?
Yes. A testator can make provisions about who receives the portion of a devisee’s property if the death occurs prior to the testator’s. For example, per stripes refers to a devisee’s property passing to lineal descendants. Per capita refers to the devisee’s property being split among the remaining devisees.
Should I Talk to a Lawyer about Becoming a Testator?
Yes. Contact an estate planning lawyer regarding making a will to make your final wishes known.
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Last Modified: 03-07-2016 04:40 PM PST
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