An individual has testamentary capacity (sound mind) if he is able to understand the nature and extent of his property, the natural objects of his bounty (to whom he would like to leave the estate), and the nature of the testamentary act (the distribution of his property when he dies).
He must also understand how these elements are related so that he can express the method of disposition of property.
Apart from these elements, a will may be ruled invalid if the testator made the will as the result of , or mistake. It enables a person to select his heirs rather than allowing the state laws of descent and distribution to choose the heirs, who, although blood relatives, might be people the testator dislikes or with whom he is unacquainted.
A will allows a person to decide which individual could best serve as the executor of his estate, distributing the property fairly to the beneficiaries while protecting their interests, rather than allowing a court to appoint a stranger to serve as administrator.
Although this problem appears relevant for many different computer science fields, ranging from database to artificial intelligence, literature has so far only superficially addressed it to enable more flexible, automatic and precise solutions.