Last Will And Testament For UK Nationals Living at Home or Abroad


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                                              Legal Terms Used on this Web Site
The 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 general explanation.
Beneficiary          A person who inherits i.e. benefits under the provisions of a last Will
 Executors       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 A 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
Partner Usually taken 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"
Spouse  husband or wife
Child  Generally 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.
Infant  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  The 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. 

Assets  A general description of all of your possessions such as cars, jewellery, furniture but not bank or building society accounts or insurance policies.
Chattels  Generally has the same meaning as " goods" or possessions, which are in their nature " moveable"
Goods  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.
Possessions  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.
Property  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"
Residue  The residue 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.
Legacy  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. 
Intestate  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 intestate"
Intestacy 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.
Inheritance Tax  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 exceeds £230,000.
Mirror (Family) Wills
Two Wills 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 Wills.
Single 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
CODICIL. A document, which when properly executed amends or changes the terms of an existing Will.
GRANT 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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