Important Montgomery County Will Terms

The important terms in Montgomery County wills explain different parts of the process and document. They also name important parties to the will. To make sure you fully understand the document and process, it is important to consult a well-versed wills lawyer.

Terms Relating to Wills

There are several terms that refer to types of wills, specific clauses, and issues that may arise. Understanding these terms can make it easier to understand a will. A well-versed attorney can further explain these terms and the role they play in the estate planning and administration process.


A codicil is an amendment to an already-existing last will and testament. It is a way to make a change to a will that has already been created and revises a portion of the already-existing will. Often, codicils are used for minor changes such as the substitution of a personal representative or trustee.

Holographic Wills

A holographic will is a will that has been written in a person’s own handwriting rather than drafted by an attorney.

Attestation Clause

An attestation clause is a clause that ensures the testator signed the last will and testament before the requisite number of witnesses as well as a notary. It is a way of ensuring the document has been properly witnessed and comports with the law.


Abatement refers to the order in which assets will be distributed at a person’s death. There is an order of priority in which assets will be distributed and it depends on what plan and assets exist at the time the person dies. For example, if a will makes a bequest of something such as $50,000 but does not have those assets at their time of death, then the cash that does exist would be distributed and then it would go down to the next asset, such as real estate.


Intestacy refers to when a person passes away without leaving a last will and testament. There are laws pertaining to intestacy and what happens to a person’s estate if they passed away without a will.

People Involved

There are several parties that play important roles in the creation and execution of a will. This includes the creator of the will, anyone who stands to inherit the assets in the will, as well as others as well. An attorney can help a person understand the role they play in the process.

The Testator

The testator is the person who has created a will. They are the owner of the will and the assets contained in the will.


An heir is a person who would be entitled to a portion of a decedent’s estate even if there was not a will.


A beneficiary is somewhat of a general term for anyone who is receiving assets from a person’s estates and that refers to heirs and legatees.

The Executor or Personal Representative

An executor is a person who has the authority to act on behalf of the estate to administer the estate. If a person has left a will, the executor is the person who is nominated in the will to serve in that capacity. In Montgomery County, the executor is referred to as a personal representative.

Who is a decedent?

A decedent is a person who has passed away, regardless of whether they have left a will or not.

Ask An Attorney About Important Montgomery County Will Terms

Understanding important Montgomery County wills terms is crucial to understanding the document and process. For the help and guidance you need throughout the process, call today for a consultation.