Legal Advice
Legal Advice

Legal Jargon can be Baffling

September, 2012 TSG_PTIMG_lastWill
Some of the words, phrases and terms often found in Wills, probate and estate planning, translated into plain English.

Assets - anything you own of value including property and land, investments, cash, and items such as paintings, antiques or valuable jewellery.

Beneficiary - a person or institution, such as a charity, named in a Will to receive a bequest or gift of money or poroperty.

Chattels - personal belongings that usually include items of furntiture, art, antiques, jewellery, watches and so forth.

Crown - another name for the government or state – for instance if  someone dies without a Will and there is no family, the estate goes to the Crown.

Codicil - a legal document that is often used to make minor changes to a Will but in order for it be valid, the same formalities are applied.

Estate - this usually includes your assets and chattels, – in other words, everything owned in your name

Executor - the person(s) named in a Will to administer your estate after your death.

Grant of probate - the legal document issued to the executors that authorises them to deal with the estate. Without it, money and property cannot be distributed according to the Will.

IHT- Inheritance Tax

Intestate- this is when someone dies without a valid Will in place and their estate is distributed according to very strict Rules of Intestacy.

Issue - children, grandchildren, adopted children.

Joint tenancy - a common arrangement for property owned by two or more people. When one owner dies, their owenrship passes to the surviving owner(s).

Tenants in common is different because each separate share of the property can be passed on, and doesn’t automatically go to other part owners.

Testator - the person who’s writing the Will – Testatrix if they’re female.

Witness - a Will must have two witnesses to the testator signing it and they must not be beneficiaries of the Will, even indirectly.

Sourced from Saga

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