Definition Of Testamentary
The dictionary definition of testamentary means related to a will. Testamentary intent means that a person signs a document intending it to be his will. While that seems obvious, the courts have had many non-obvious facts to deal with. Consider the case(s) that follow.
Writing On A Greeting Card
A greeting card was offered for probate as a holographic will. On the back of the card, there was written
“I leave everything to Verneice Daniels.” The man’s initials were below that sentence. Some relatives who would gain if the document was not a will challenged it on the basis that there was no testamentary intent.
In upholding this greeting card as the will of the man, the court of appeals discussed what needs to be proven as testamentary intent. “A valid will is a document executed with testamentary intent. The animus testandi does not depend on the maker’s realization that he is making a will, or upon his designation of the instrument as a will, but upon his intention to create a revocable disposition of his property to take effect after his death. It is essential, however, that the maker shall have intended to express his testamentary wishes in the particular instrument offered for probate.” The court went on to approve the greeting card as the last will of the man holding that the man intended to to pass all of his property to Verneice Daniels on his death. 862 S.W.2d 8