A will or ‘testament’ (as it colloquially referred to sometimes) is a binding legal document in most countries in the world today. It is usually though a document referred to as ‘last Will and Testament’ (duly witnessed by at least two adult individuals of sound mind) by which an individual desires his/her property to be distributed at the time of his/her eventual demise. The ‘Will’ maker is referred to as the “Testator”. The Testator names one or more than one individual (each of whom must also be adult and of sound mind) as an ‘executor/s’ who would be responsible for discharging the wishes of the deceased in the distribution of all of the deceased’s properties in accordance with the terms and conditions as mentioned in the will.
The will used to refer to only actual property (lands, factories houses etc) while testament was limited to the dispersion of personal property (clothes jewelry watches and so forth)
However, in modern parlance, the term “Will and Testament” taken together signify both real and personal property of the testator.
In case no ‘will and testament’ has been left behind by a deceased his/her real property and personal artifacts are distributed amongst his inheritors. Furthermore, for the document to be legally binding, it must be witnessed by at least two or more adults of sound mind (Statuary requirements).
Power of attorney (POA)
A power of attorney (POA) (also known in legal parlance as letter of attorney (LOA)) is a written authorization document which allows one individual to hand over authority to someone else, essentially giving them the right to represent and/or act on his/her behalf in different matters. Said matters may be concerned with finances, businesses or even private affairs. The person giving such authorisation is known as Donor or Principal while the person who would have the power to execute affairs on behalf of the donor is referred to as Agent.
The agent could be an individual who would have the power to appear on behalf of the principal in cases filed against him/her in another city for example, or someone who would be authorized to run a principal’s business affairs while he is not in the country.
For a POA to be legally binding, it is imperative that the two mandatory adult witnesses of sound mind must not be related to each other or any other parties to the contract.