freedom of testation

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A person's right to provide in his will for the distribution of his estate in whatever manner he wishes. The principle is restricted by the powers of the court to set aside a will made by a person of unsound mind (see testamentary capacity) and to award reasonable financial provision from an estate to certain relatives and dependants of the deceased under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. This is a fundamental principle of English law but does not apply in many other jurisdictions, where forced heirship rules may apply.

Subjects: Law.

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