Glossary of Terms

glossary

A glossary of some of the legal terms in England

Adult

Under English Law this is a person aged 18 or over

 

Beneficiary

A person who receives all or part of an estate under a Will. A beneficiary may also be a person who receives payment from a life insurance policy or trust

 

Civil Partnership

A partnership registered under the Civil Partnership Act 2004

 

Civil Partners

Persons who are registered as partners under the Civil Partnership Act 2004

 

Codicil

A document that amends and adds to a Will

 

Dispose

To transfer or give

 

Encumbrance

Usually a mortgage or charge upon property securing the payment of a debt or other liability

 

Estate

All the property belonging to a person at death

 

Executor Dative

A person appointed by the court to manage the estate of a deceased person when there is no executor nominate

 

Executor Nominate

A person named in a Will to manage the deceased’s estate

 

Guardian

A person with parental responsibility for a minor child

 

Inheritance Tax

A tax imposed on a person’s estate upon death and in some cases on gifts during the person’s lifetime

 

Intestate

Dying without leaving a valid Will

Joint Property

Property owned jointly with another person or persons

 

Legacy

Usually a gift of money in a Will

 

Minor

Under english law, a person under the age of 18

 

Obtaining Probate

The process of proving the validity of a Will, and the executor’s authority to manage the estate

 

Residuary Beneficiary

A beneficiary who receives the residue of an estate or part of it

 

Replacement Beneficiary

A person designated as a beneficiary if someone else predeceases you or fails to survive you for a specified period or to reach a specified age

 

Residuary Gift

A gift of residue made in a Will

 

Residue

The remainder of an estate after the deduction of tax, debts, specific gifts, legacies and the expenses of administration

 

Specific Gifts

A gift of a particular item of property in a Will

 

Testator

(or testatrix, if female) a person who makes a Will

 

Trust

An arrangement under which a person or persons (the trustee or trustees) hold and manage property for the benefit of another person or persons (the trust beneficiary or beneficiaries)

 

Will

A legal document which sets out the wishes of the testator for the distribution of his or her estate and certain other matters after his or her death

 

Witness

A person who signs a Will to verify the testator’s signature on it

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