Legal Love Letters: Glossary of terms | Understand your will | common terms used in wills
Language used in wills can be confusing at the best of times so to help you understand your will a bit better, we've listed the most commonly used terms below
Glossary of Terms
A person appointed when either no Will can be found or there is no executor
to carry out the intentions of the Will.
Administration, Letters of
Letters of administration
Granted by a court to administrators (usually the next of kin) to give them the authority they need to act and to administer/distribute the estate where
there is no Will.
Generally everything that you own.
Someone who will inherit from the Will, a trust or under the intestacy laws.
A gift left in a Will.
A gift on which Inheritance Tax may be payable.
A document executed by a testator subsequent to the Will which alters, cancels
or adds to the provisions of the previously drafted Will.
A gift by Will of freehold property.
A person appointed in the Will to administer the estate.
Someone appointed to look after the interests of a child under the age of 18.
Tax payable on the transfer of assets either during an individual's lifetime
or on his or her death.
A person who dies without making a valid Will.
A gift of a specific item left in a Will, apart from land.
The right to enjoy for life (or until a specified time period has elapsed or an event has occurred, like someone remarrying) either money or property which will eventually revert to the original estate in some way on death - instructions are included in the Will as to what should happen to the gift when the life interest ends.
Anything other than buildings or land.
A gift of money under a Will.
Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET)
A gift made during ones lifetime that is exempt from Inheritance Tax if the donor lives for seven years after making the gift.
Someone who dies before the person who has made the Will.
Grant of probate
The document which confirms to executors that they have authority to act,
and which validates the Will.
What is left of the estate after the payment of all debts, taxes, administration expenses, legacies and bequests under the Will.
Interest in trust property.
A gift of a specific object under a Will.
The person (male/female) who makes the Will.
An arrangement by which asset(s) is handed over to trustees to be applied
for the benefit of other people known as beneficiaries.
A person holding asset(s) on behalf of another person and is responsible
for administering the trust assets.
Variation, Deed of
Deed of variation
An arrangement whereby certain provisions under a Will may be varied
by consent of the beneficiaries.
A form of instructions as to how someone wishes to dispose of their assets on death.