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.
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.