Don’t worry if anything is unclear our UK based Advisers are adept at explaining all the legal jargon in plain English.
A Beneficiary is a person or organisation which receives property, or gains benefit from an intestacy, a will or trust.
Personal property such as household and personal goods, antiques, books, vehicles, furniture, jewellery, works of art, stamp and coin collections, electrical equipment, clothes, and gardenequipment.
This is a document that amends, rather than replaces, a previously executed will.
This the total value of everything you own at the point of death, less any outstanding commitments.
The people appointed in the Will to manage your estate after your death.
This is the name given for the situation that arises when someone dies without. If a person dies without having made a will then this is known as ‘dying intestate’. If a person dies intestate, the government will receive the assets if there are no close relatives. If there are relatives but no will, the wishes of the deceased may not be followed and this is why it is vital to have a will.
A tax that may be levied by the Government on part of your estate after your death.
A legacy is a ‘gift’ in a will. There are three main types of legacy:
- Pecuniary legacy: a gift of a specific sum of money
- Residual legacy: best explained as the ‘residue’ i.e. a gift of an asset or money out of what is left after the other legacies and expenses have been paid/made.
- Specific legacy: a definite object or property
A living will is a document that sets out a patient’s wishes regarding health care and how they want to be treated if they become seriously ill and unable to make or communicate their own choices.
The legal procedure for applying for the right to deal with a deceased person’s affairs. It’s sometimes called ‘administering the estate’.
It usually involves proving that the deceased’s Will is valid, identifying the deceased person’s property and having its value appraised, paying any outstanding debts and taxes including Inheritance tax, and distributing the property according to the law.
The process tends to last several months and can sometimes take many years where the estate is complicated.
Those with the legal duty to carry this out are called ‘executors’ and will be named in the Will. If there is no Will – dying intestate – the courts will appoint administrators.
The amount left of your estate after payment of debts.
A person who puts property into a trust. Forpurposes a settlor is the person who makes a settlement or who directly or indirectly provides the assets for a settlement.
Tenants in Common
Joint ownership of property where each joint tenant owns a separate share in the property. On the death of one of the joint owners, their share passes to their beneficiaries by their will or intestacy. There is more on joint property in Passing on your home to your children.
This is the person making the will. A female testator is sometimes referred to as the Testatrix.
This is a legal arrangement that sets out how certain assets should be dealt with on death.
Your signature on a will must be witnessed by two people. They must also sign in the presence of each other. No beneficiary (or indeed their spouse) should sign the will, if they do so any gift to them or their spouse will be invalid.