Legal Maxim

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Literal Meaning

A testamentary intention or with the intention of making a will/testament




It means that there needs to be an intention to make a valid testament or will. If there is no animus testandi, there can be no will. ‘Animo’ means intentionally or purposefully and ‘testandi’ means testamentary. It gives an instrumental testamentary character.


A mentally retarded person cannot make a valid will, because he does not have an intention.

Case Laws

In Mt. Chunna Kunwar And Ors. vs Mt. Rasili Kunwar And Ors., the Allahabad High Court held that “A declaration by a person with regard to the disposition of his property after his death does not constitute a will, unless it is made animo testandi.”

In Isakki Ammal Thayammai Ammal vs Papammal And Ors., the Madras High Court held that “If an instrument be a deed in its form in order to hold it is testamentary, or in the nature of a will there must be something very special in the case; it must even go to this extent, that it was the intention of the settlor that the instrument was to be ambulatory till his death, and then to operate at all events; or that he intended the instrument to be a will animo testandi.”

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