(1.) A Will is a disposition of real and personal property by a person, called the testator, to take effect after his death. Every person of sound mind, and over eighteen years of age, may by his last will, dispose of all his real and personal estate, subject to the payment of his debts.
(2.) Every one who has property, should make a will if for no other reason than to appoint an executor, and, if desired, to exempt the executor from giving bonds.
(3.) A married woman, under the California law, may make, alter and revoke her will in like manner as if she were single.
(4.) An intestate is one who, having power to make a will, does not make it, or who makes a defective will. His estate descends to his heirs and is managed by an administrator.
(6.) Any other written will must be executed and attested with certain formalities, namely:
(a) It must be subscribed at the end by the testator himself, or some person in his presence and by his direction must sign his name for him;
(b) The signing must be made in the presence of two attesting witnesses, or the testator must acknowledge to such witnesses that the signature is his or was made by his authority;
(c) The testator must, at the time of signing or when he acknowledges that the signature is his, declare to the witnesses that the instrument is his will, and each of the witnesses must, thereupon, sign his name as a witness, at the end of the will, after a witness-clause, as shown in Form No. 86.
(7.) The statutes of the several States place limitations on the will-making power, as, for example, in Cali-fornia, the husband has power to dispose of only one-half of the community property; a married woman can only will her separate property; only one-third of an estate can be devised to charity; certain kinds of corporations cannot take property under a will; trusts of a certain character can only be declared, etc., etc. If the property interests involved are of any magnitude, it is advisable for the testator to procure the services of a competent attorney in making his will.
(8.) Wills are revoked by certain acts, as where a woman marries after making her will; or where a man marries after making his will and does not provide for his wife by marriage contract or by will; also by the testator burning, tearing, cancelling, obliterating or destroying his will with the intention of revoking it. If so cancelled or destroyed by any person other than the testator, the fact of such cancellation or destruction, and that the testator directed the same to be done, must be proved by two witnesses. Wills may be revoked in writing, but such writing must be executed with the same formality as the will.
(9.) A codicil is an addition to, or modification of a will.