A testator is a person who creates a will. If a person dies before he has the chance to create a will, then he is said to have died “intestate.” A person must be of sound mind when he creates a will, otherwise the will could be invalidated by the court.

In order to ensure that the person is of sound mind, several witnesses must be present when the will is signed, and their information and signatures are captured on the last page of the will. The creator of the will must also be free of coercion or duress when creating the will. If a court finds that he was, in fact, forced to sign the will against his own wishes, the court may choose to void all or part of the will.

Related Legal Terms & Definitions

ULTIMA VOLUNTAS TESTATORIS EST PERIMPLENDA SECUNDUM VERAM

Latin, meaning the last will of a testator is to be fulfilled according to his true intention.

VOLUNTAS

Latin: Properly, volition, purpose, or intention, or a design or the feeling or impulse which prompts the commission of an act; but in old English law the term was often used to denote a will, that is, the last will and testament of a decedent, more properly called testamentum.

IN TESTAMENTIS PLENIUS TESTATORIS INTENTIONEM SCRUTAMUR Latin, meaning in wills we seek diligently the intention of the testator.

ULTIMA RATIO

Latin meaning the last argument; the last resort; the means last to be resorted to. The last will of a testator is to be fulfilled according to his true intention.

OLOGRAPHIC TESTAMENT

The olographic testament is that which is written by the testator himself. In order to be valid, it must be entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator. It is subject to no other form, and may be made anywhere, even out of the state. Civil Code La. art. 1588; Civil Code Cal. (1277).

CUM TESTAMENTO ANNEXO

Latin: With the will annexed. A term applied to administration granted where a testator makes an incomplete will, without naming any executors, or where he names Incapable persons, or where the executors named refuse to act.

TESTATE

One who dies having made a testament, a testator. A person who has a valid will at the time of death.

TESTATRIX

A woman who makes a will; a woman who dies leaving a will; a female testator.