Jargon Buster

Administrator:

A person appointed by the courts to settle your affairs when there is no Will in place at the date of your death.

Advanced Directive:

A document which expresses your wishes concerning life sustaining medical treatment you wish or don’t wish to receive. Often referred to as “Living Wills”.

Attorney:

A person appointed by you to handle your affairs if you can no longer do so yourself:

Beneficiary:

A person who receives from your Will.

Chattels:

Objects which you own. For example pieces of jewellery or a set of golf clubs.

Codicil:

An addition to an existing Will.

Cohabitee:

Somebody who lives with you but is not married to you.

Dependant:

Somebody being financially maintained by you.

Deputy:

A person appointed by the courts to handle your affairs if you can no longer do so.

Estate:

Everything you own at the date of your death minus liabilities.

Executor (male) / Executrix (female):

A person named in your Will to settle your affairs on your death.

Funeral arrangements:

Expressions of wishes contained in your Will such as preferences for burial or cremation, order of service, donations to charity rather than flowers etc.

Guardian:

A person appointed by you to be responsible for your children after your death whilst they are still below eighteen.

Inheritance tax:

A tax on your estate payable on your death. Please contact us for specific up to date details of current tax rates and allowances.

Intestacy:

Dying without a valid Will in place.

Lasting Power of Attorney:

A document which enables you to appoint people to handle your affairs when you can no longer do so but are still living.

Legacy:

A gift in a Will.

Liabilities:

Debts owed by you or your estate which are settled before your estate is distributed.

Living Will:

A document which expresses your wishes concerning life sustaining medical treatment you wish or don’t wish to receive. Also known as “Advanced Directives”.

Minor:

A person mentioned in a Will who is under the age of eighteen.

Next of Kin:

The person or persons deemed by law to be your closest relatives. These may not be the people you wish to receive your estate via your Will.

Nil Rate Band:

The allowance which all estates are given before the payment of Inheritance Tax. Please contact us for advice on current NRB allowances.

Office of The Public Guardian:

The organisation which deals with all applications for Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Personal Representative:

A person appointed to handle your affairs after your death. This may be an Executor (where there was a Will) or an Administrator (where there wasn’t a Will).

Probate:

The legal process of confirming a Will is valid after your death.

Statutory Laws of Succession:

A set of rules which establish who will inherit your estate if there is no Will in place.

Testamentary Capacity:

The necessary level of understanding required by law for a person to make a valid Will. This is a very sensitive area, particularly where the elderly and vulnerable are concerned. Please contact us for specific advice.

Testator (male) / Testatrix (female):

A person who is making their Will.

Trust:

An asset being administered by one person on behalf of another person.

Trustee:

A person appointed to administer an asset on behalf of another person.

Will.

A document which outlines how you wish your affairs to be settled on death.

Witness:

A person present when you sign your Will. There must be two independent witnesses present for a Will to be valid.