Testator Definition and Legal Meaning
On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Testator, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.
What is Testator?
A person who has made a will or testament. The will becomes effective after the death of the will creator which indicates the distribution of his/her estate.
History and Meaning of Testator
The term "testator" comes from Latin and means "witness". In the legal world, a testator refers to a person who has made a will or testament in which they determine how their assets will be distributed after their death. The will only becomes effective upon the death of the testator. The testator must be of sound mind when creating the will and must sign it in the presence of witnesses who also sign the document.
Examples of Testator
- John Smith created a will in which he left his estate to his children.
- Mary Johnson appointed her sister as the executor of her will.
- The testator's signature on the will must be witnessed by at least two people who are not beneficiaries.
- After his father's death, Tom learned that he had been named as the executor of the will and had to handle the distribution of the assets.
- The lawyer advised the testator to include a guardianship clause in the will in case something happened to the designated guardians.
Legal Terms Similar to Testator
- Intestate: When someone dies without a will or testament, they are said to have died "intestate". In this case, their assets will be distributed according to state law rather than their wishes.
- Executor: A person who is appointed in a will to manage the distribution of the testator's assets after their death.
- Beneficiary: A person or organization who is named in a will to receive a portion of the testator's assets.
- Probate: The legal process by which a will is validated and the testator's assets are distributed according to their wishes.
- Trust: A legal arrangement in which a person (the "settlor") transfers assets to a trustee to manage on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. A trust can be set up during a person's lifetime or through their will.