Legal Jargon

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.

Currently, Inheritance Tax (IHT) is payable at 0% on the first £325,000 of an estate. This is called the nil rate band. The value of the estate above this figure is usually taxed at 40%. Any gifts between spouses are exempt from IHT. The transferable nil rate band, introduced in 2007, allows any unused Inheritance Tax nil rate band from a late spouse’s estate to be transferred to the surviving spouse’s estate when they die. This can give the surviving spouse’s estate a combined nil rate band of up to £650,000.

The person who has made a will.

The person(s) appointed in a will to take care of the deceased’s children until they reach adulthood at the age of 18.

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 personal injury trust can be set up to hold and manage a person’s damages to ensure that this money is not taken into account for assessment of means-tested benefits or care contributions.

The document issued by the Probate Registry giving formal approval for representatives to deal with the estate of a person who has died intestate i.e. without leaving a will detailing how they wish their estate to be disposed of.

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

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