A “Will” Vs. a “Testament” (From www.centrro.com)

This is the answer to one of those “I wonder why they call it that” questions. You can go to the original web article here.


What does “Last Will & Testament” mean, anyway?

A “Will” Vs. a “Testament”

Posted by joslyn – March 24, 2011

We can thank old British laws for handing down this phrase. A will, traditionally, dictated how “real property” would be allocated (in other words, land and things of physical value). A testament dealt with personal property — things of sentimental or family value.

These days, there can be a less concrete line drawn between what is “real” and what is “personal,” so we just use the phrase “last will & testament” to cover all our bases.

Incidentally, when it comes to your last will & testament, you are the testator in question.

Oh, and a holographic will is an informal will made under extenuating circumstances, and without the usual legal witnesses and signatures. Even with a holographic will, however, the testator’s signature is required.

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About Thinkwing Radio

Mike Honig is originally from Brooklyn, New York. He moved to Houston in September of 1977 and has been there ever since. Mike's interests are politics, history, science, science fiction (and reading generally), technology, and almost anything else. Mike has knowledge and experience in many diverse fields, sometimes from having worked in them, and sometimes from extensive reading or discussion about them. Mike's general knowledge makes him a favorite partner in Trivial Pursuit. He likes to say that about most things, he knows enough to be dangerous. Humility is a work-in-progress.

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