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The appointment of an executor or testamentary heir, according to the formalities prescribed by law.
At first there were only two sorts of testaments among the Romans that called calatis comitiis, and another called in procinctu. In the course of time these two sorts of testament having become obsolete, a third form was introduced, called per aes et libram, which was a fictitious sale of the inheritance to the heir apparent. The inconveniences which were experienced from these fictitious sales again changed the form of testaments; and the praetor introduced another which required the seal of seven witnesses. The emperors having increased the solemnity of those testaments, they were called written or solemn testaments, to distinguish them from nuncupative testaments which could be made without writing. Afterwards military testaments were introduced, in favor of soldiers actually engaged in military service.
A civil testament is one made according to all the forms prescribed by law, in contradistinction to a military testament, in making which some of the forms may be dispensed with. Civil testaments are more ancient than military ones; the former were in use during the time of Romulus, the latter were introduced during the time of Coriolanus.
A common testament is one which is made jointly by several persons. Such testaments are forbidden in Louisiana and by the laws of France, in the same words, namely, "A testament cannot be made by the same act, by two or more persons, either for the benefit of a third person, or under the title of a reciprocal or mutual disposition."
A testament calatis comitiis, or made in the comitia, that is, the assembly of the Roman people, was an ancient manner of making wills used in times of peace amonn the Romans. The comitia met twice a year for this purpose. Those who wished to make such testaments caused to be convoked the assembly of the people by these words, calatis comitiis. None could make such will's that were not entitled to be at the assemblies of the people. This form of testament was repealed by the law of the Twelve Tables.
Testament ab irato, a term used in the civil law. A testament ab irato, is one made in a gust of passion or hatred against the presumptive heir rather than from a desire to benefit the devisee. When the facts of unreasonable anger are proved, the will is annulled as unjust, and as not having been freely made. Vide Ab irato.
A mystic testament is also called a solemn testament, because it requires more formality than a nuncupative testament; it is a form of making a will, which consists principally in enclosing it in an envelope and sealing it in the presence of witnesses.
Nuncupative, testament, a term used in the civil law. A numcupative testament was one made verbally, in the presence of seven witnesses; it was not necessary that it should have been, in writing; the proof of it was by parol evidence.
Olographic testament, a term used in the civil law. The olographic tes-tament is that which is written wholly by the testator himself. In order to be valid, it must be entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator. It is subject to no other form.
Belonging to a testament; as a testamentary gift; a testamen-tary guardian, or one appointed by will or testament; letters testamentary, or a writing under seal given by an officer lawfully authorized, granting power to one named as executor to execute a last will or testament.