Legal Terms Used on this Web Site
explanation of the terms referred to in this web site are provided so as to assist
you in understanding the use of such terms and are not to be treated by you as
being the only definition or explanation as in many instances the terms have
received Judicial explanation by Courts in cases of interpretation and it is not
within the scope of this site to provide comprehensive definition but only a
person who inherits i.e. benefits under the provisions of a last Will
An executor is a person named in a last will to manage the
testator’s estate. The function of an executor is to look after the
administration of your last Will (putting it into effect after your
death) and to ensure that your wishes expressed in it are carried out as
far as possible. It is usual to appoint at least two such persons but
not more than four. It is desirable that executors be persons who are
known to the Testator to be reliable, trustworthy and diligent. For
married couples or people with partners you can appoint them as your
sole executor and sole beneficiary, naming at least one other executor
and beneficiary should he or she pre-decease you. An
Executor can also be a beneficiary. An
Executor must be over 18 years of age.
Trustee is a person who is usually your Executor and is a person who holds your
property on behalf of others while your estate is being administered.
Frequently, Trustees are appointed to hold your estate for the benefit of infant
children while they are under the age of eighteen
to mean a person with whom you are living with but to whom you are not married.
The term includes " friends & companions" and what are sometimes
called " common law husbands & wives"
taken to mean the issue of parents whilst under the age of 18 but can also
include adults i.e. persons over the age of 18. In legal terms a child can
therefore be taken to include a child whatever age. The term should not be used
to describe a child under 18 years of age who would be correctly described as
being " an infant "
The term also includes both legitimate as well as an illegitimate child and a
legally adopted child.
The term does not include a stepchild and such persons should be specifically
mentioned in a Will if they are to benefit.
A person who
is under the age of 18. The term may include not only your own child who is
under 18 but also other infants of which you may not be the blood parent. A
Minor cannot own possessions until over the age of 18 and a benefit for an
infant must therefore be held in trust for infants until they reach the age of
18. You can stipulate in a Will that benefits for infants can be held in trust
until older than 18 if you so wish i.e. until the age of 21 or older. You can in
a Will make provisions for the maintenance and financial support for infants
while they are under 18 years of age.
guardian is responsible for the welfare and safe upbringing of an infant.
(under 18 years of age) at the time of your death. Parents
who are making Mirror wills should name a guardian in the will in the event that
they should die together, but
appointment (or the responsibilities) of a guardian (in most cases) will
not take effect until the death of the surviving parent.
Guardians must be 18 or over.
description of all of your possessions such as cars, jewellery, furniture but
not bank or building society accounts or insurance policies.
the same meaning as " goods" or possessions, which are in their nature
The expression is taken to refer to a wide range of moveable objects such In
practical terms as furniture, ornaments, paintings, jewellery and could even
include a motor car.
A very wide
description that can include very nearly every thing that you own. Unless you
want all of your possessions to go to a particular person or group of persons it
is best to avoid the use of the word.
Strictly speaking this term includes freehold land and property but is
frequently used to include leasehold property. If you intend to include
leasehold property then we would not recommend the use of the term
"Property " but suggest that you specifically describe the property as
being " Leasehold Property"
of your estate includes everything else that you own after all debts, funeral
expenses and all legacies and tax has been paid. That is to say every thing you
own when you pass away which has not been gifted elsewhere in your will. If you are going to leave the residue of your estate to your spouse or your
partner you can also say what is to happen to the residue if your spouse or
partner passes away before you for example if the residue of your estate is to
pass then to your children.
A gift of
money or possessions but not a house or land
Legacy of Goods & Chattels
A gift to a beneficiary of specific moveable items such as a painting, an
ornament, clothing, furniture a motor car, a television set.
Legacy of Money
A specific sum of money or the proceeds of a specific bank or building
society account. It is usual for legacies of money to be paid free of
Inheritance Tax. However if you intend to make a gift of the total held by you
in a particular bank or building society account then you should be careful and
check if the gift is likely to incur any Inheritance Tax.
If you intend to make a legacy free of Inheritance Tax you should take into
account that Inheritance Tax may still be payable on the gift but paid out of
the Residue of your estate. The person entitled to the residue may not be
connected to the person who is to receive the money legacy and the persons
entitled to the residue of your estate may receive that much less because
Inheritance tax on the legacy may be payable out of the residue of your estate
before it reaches your residue. If you are making a legacy of money you should
be careful to take into account who will actually be paying any Inheritance Tax
on the legacy.
A person who dies without making a Will or who makes a Will but who does not
fully dispose of his or her estate in that will i.e. who dies "partially
An estate where there is no valid last will, or no will at all
and the law therefore directs who inherits your estate. A none valid last
will would be a will that has not been written correctly or the will HAS NOT
BEEN SIGNED, DATED, AND WITNESSED AT ALL, OR INCORRECTLY.
|Administrator. Has similar duties to
those of an executor for estates where: there is no will. The will
does not appoint an executor. There are court rules which govern who may apply
to act as administrator.
A Government Tax which is payable as a percentage of your estate to the
Government. It is not payable if you leave all of your estate to you husband or
wife but is payable if you leave your estate to your Partner to whom you are not
married, or to your children. Inheritance Tax is not payable on all estates, as
it will depend upon the total value of your estate, as to whether there are any
exemptions that are to apply and the taxation threshold that tends to change
every year in the Budget. To try to evade Inheritance Tax will end up with
trouble. You can however take steps during your lifetime to avoid the impact of
Inheritance Tax. You are recommended to seek advice if the combined value of
your assets including the value of your house jointly with your husband or wife
made at the same time by two people and which are worded more or less the same.
Frequently mirror Wills are made by a husband in favor of his wife and by a wife
in favor of her husband and provides that after they have both died that their
estates are to go to their children. Persons who are not married to each other
if they both have the same sort of intentions can also make these types of
Will All Wills are "Single Wills" because it is not possible for two
people to make just one “joint” Will. They must both make separate Wills.
The term " Single Will " is usually taken to mean one Will made by a
person who is not married i.e. a bachelor or spinster but the term could also be
used to describe a Will made by a married person if his wife or her husband is
not making a Will on the same occasion or if two Wills made on the same occasion
are substantially different
document, which when properly executed amends or changes the terms of an
OF PROBATE. A
document issued by the court confirming both the validity of a Last Will and the
right of the executor to administer the will (estate).
|ISSUE. This means your children, their children and so on all the way down
the family tree.
Unless you state otherwise, last wills we prepare online
are on the basis that any reference to
infants or children automatically includes provision for any Childs's children
(your grandchildren) to take in substitution for that child if that child does
not survive or reach an age specified in the will and so on.
|JOINT PROPERTY. Under English Law there are two methods
of jointly owning property: Under a beneficial joint tenancy the entire property
passes to the survivor(s) on a death. Under a tenancy-in-common a person's share
of the property pass under the terms of his or her last will. Where there is no
will under the rules of intestacy.
|WILL. A written document which when properly executed controls how a person's assets are to be
distributed according to his or her own wishes after his or her death. If
improperly executed the document may not constitute a last will.
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