Legal Jargon

The legal document in which a person sets out how they wish to leave their estate (assets such as house and bank accounts) when they die. A will may also appoint named guardians for the deceased’s children.

The people or entities appointed to oversee the management of property or other assets on behalf of beneficiaries, who might be private individuals, a charity or another type of organisation. In the context of estate administration following a death, trustees will be the people named in a will to manage the money held in trust for the beneficiaries. The trustees are the legal owners of the assets held in a trust and their role is to deal with the assets according to the deceased’s wishes, as set out in the trust deed or their will.

A formal legal structure where property or other assets are held by one or more people for the benefit of another.

The person who has made a will.

Someone who is entitled to a share of whatever is left in the estate after payment of debts and other specific gifts.

The Court that deals with applications for Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration.

A way of giving permission to someone, either temporarily or for the rest of your life, to make decisions and act on your behalf in relation to your personal affairs, usually relating to financial and/or health and welfare matters. Actions taken by your attorney are legally binding and you should therefore take legal advice before granting power of attorney.

Someone entitled to a fixed gift – a specific amount of money or item(s) of property under the terms of a will.

If a person dies without making a will their estate is distributed in accordance with the Intestacy Rules. Intestacy is administratively burdensome and can lead to significant delays and expense in the settlement of a person’s estate. It may also mean that a person’s estate is not settled in the way that they might have wanted and should, therefore, be avoided if at all possible.

A document appointing a person of your choice (the attorney) to deal with either your property and financial affairs or your health and welfare decisions when you are no longer capable of doing so, or at a time when you give permission for your attorneys to act.

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