When someone dies it can be an ease to know they had a written testament or last will as it is also called. Then all surviving and relatives know how the deceased wanted for their assets and belongings. In a testament the deceased will name an executor who will manage the testament up to the part of the distribution of assets. The one writing the testament is called a testator.
There are lots of laws to regulate how to manage an inheritance. The most common perception is that the testator can give his belongings and assets to whomever he chooses (“the freedom of disposition”). In England and USA today, whom are seen as having generally the same laws, they have this right. The truth is that it is more or less an exception from the rest of the world where other laws controls how the inheritance shall be distributed. Many countries in Europe make it almost impossible for a testator to favour other before their children.
Different Types of Testaments
A Nuncaptive Will is an orally made testament that has been done together with witnesses. This kind of testament is not so common since it usually doesn´t hold up in court. Some of the states in the USA allows this if it is given by military staff on active duty. A Holographic will is a common type of testament. The testator writes his will and signs it without witnesses. For this to be legally correct it needs to be without any reasonable doubt that it is the testator that is the writer. Another demand is that the testator was at the full use of his mind and that it is his will for the receiver to get his property. Holographic testaments a pretty common and are often made in emergencies. A testament written under these conditions has a short durability if tried in court. For example, if a sailor in distress testaments everything to his girlfriend, survives, gets a new girlfriend and lives on for years. If he hasn´t written a new testament when he dies, the first girlfriend won´t have much luck in court. Another common type of testament is a Reciprocal/mirror testament that means that spouses or sambos write a testament together where they put each other as total beneficiaries. In many countries in Europe this is custom and run by laws. The type of testament that almost never can´t be changed is the “will in solemn form”. In this case the testament is signed by the testator and several, unattached witnesses, usually a lawyer or an accountant.
Writing a Testament
Everybody can, if they want, write a testament. All it takes is that you are of age and at the full use of your mind. This looks a little different depending on which country you are living in, but generally a testament should include: The testator must be identified. It has to be clear that it is the free will of the testator and that the testator manages his property. The testament should be witnessed by at least two witnesses. An advantage is that these two are to be seen as totally impartial if it goes to court. Using a lawyer or accountant is preferable.
If you are not sure on how to get ahead with the process the easiest way is to go to a mortician and talk to them. They usually have a free service and start their charging when the testament is being written. If you don´t want to take help from anyone there are lots to read on the internet or in books so you can manage it yourself. Be aware of all laws if you do it yourself so that it won´t be invalidated when the time has come. Writing a will and testament is a big help for surviving and relatives.