Dealing with the death of a family member or friend can be very emotional and upsetting. We do not want the legal process and the wording we use to make the situation worse so we strive to keep legal jargon to a minimum. We appreciate you will come across terms you may not understand so we have tried to explain these as clearly as possible in the definitions below, so that you fully understand the process you are going through.
If you need further explanation then please do contact us.
The person formally approved by the Court of Protection to look after the affairs of a person who can no longer do so themselves, where they have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Also known as vulnerable persons trusts. These can be complex trusts and are an umbrella name for discretionary or interest in possession trusts. They are useful because they benefit from special tax rules so long as certain conditions are met.
A discretionary trust, as the name suggest, ensures that the assets and any income belonging to the trust is managed and used entirely at the discretion of the trustees.
The trust will name more than one beneficiary (referred to as a class of beneficiaries) and it is for the trustees to decide which beneficiaries will receive trust assets whether this is income or capital payments or the right to live in a house owned by the trust.
This means a beneficiary cannot claim a right to any specific trust asset and those assets cannot be considered theirs for tax purposes or considered in a financial assessment for care fees.
The assets and liabilities of someone who has died. It is the responsibility of Executors or Administrators to ensure that the debts are paid from the Estate and that beneficiaries receive the amounts due to them.
The process of dealing with a person’s legal and tax affairs following their death. This can include dealing with bank accounts, pensions, personal belongings, property, paying debts, liabilities and any inheritance tax due.
The person or persons appointed in a Will to deal with the administration of the estate. This could involve dealing with the deceased’s bank account, selling properties and distributing money to beneficiaries.
A gift that is deemed as not being fully given away because the person giving the gift has retained some benefit, for example giving a house to your adult children, who do not live in it, but you continue to live in your home rent free.
The document issued by the Probate Registry which gives formal authority for the Executors to act in dealing with an estate when someone dies.
The tax due when the value of an Estate exceeds a particular limit set by the Government.
If a Will or intestacy does not make financial provision for an individual either because they are not named as a beneficiary or not gifted as much as they need a claim can be brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 to make further financial award from the deceased’s estate.
Only the follow people are eligible to bring a claim:
- the spouse/civil partner of the deceased;
- the former spouse/civil partner of the deceased who has not remarried or entered into a further civil partnership;
- living with the deceased for at least two years prior to their death;
- the deceased’s child (which includes an adult child);
- treated as the deceased’s ‘child’ (for example, but not necessarily, adopted, fostered or a step-child); or
- being “maintained” by the deceased.
With the exception of a spouse or civil partner an individual is only entitled to sufficient financial provision as required for their maintenance.