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Wills and Probate Glossary

Straight forward and stress free

At Lambert Taylor & Gregory we aim to make seeing a solicitor as straightforward and stress-free as possible. With this in mind we have prepared a Wills and Probate glossary which explains some of the words and phrases commonly used or associated with Wills, Probate and Estate Administration.

Administrator
- the person responsible for looking after the affairs of someone who has died without making a Will.
Asset
- anything a person owns of value including property and land, investments or money.
Beneficiary
- a person who benefits on the death of another either under a Will or on Intestacy (see below).
Caveat
- a document lodged at the Probate Registry to prevent a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration being issued.
Chattels
- personal belongings eg furniture, jewellery etc.
Codicil
- a legal document drawn up to make minor changes to a Will.
Deed of Variation
- a legal document drawn up to alter or amend a Will after the Testator's death.
Discretionary Trust
- a Trust in which money or property is held on behalf of one or more of those beneficiaries to be paid out to one or more or those beneficiaries at the discretion of the Trustees.
Estate
- a term used to describe a persons assets and property.
Executor
- a person named in a Will to administer the deceased's estate and distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.
Grant of Letters of Administration
- a document issued to a deceased's administrator to authorise the administrator to deal with the estate.
Grant of Probate
- a document issued to the executors of a Will which will allow them to administer and distribute the estate in accordance with the terms of the Will.
Guardian
- a person or persons appointed by the deceased to make decisions about the deceased's children until they reach 18 years of age.
Inheritance Tax
- a tax on the total value of a deceased's estate, sometimes known as death duty or IHT.
Intestate/Intestacy
- a phrase to describe someone who has died without making a valid Will and the subsequent administration of that persons estate.
Legacy
- a gift given by someone after death through a Will.
Life Interest
- a gift of property or the income from money to a person or persons for their lifetime.
Nil-Rate-Band
- the amount of money or value of an estate before inheritance tax becomes payable.
Personal Representative (PR)
- a deceased's Executor(s) or Administrator(s).
Probate Registry
- a division of the High Court responsible for issuing Grants of Probate and Grants of Letters of Administration and settling disputes relating to estates.
Residuary Gift
- the gift of the deceased's residue to the residuary beneficiary.
Residue
- what is left of a persons estate after specific gifts, legacies and debts have all been paid.
Specific Gift
- the gift of a particular item, sum of money or other asset to a beneficiary.
Testate
- a phrase used to describe someone who has died having made a valid Will.
Testator/Testatrix
- a person who has made a Will.
Trust
- where assets are held or looked after by Trustees for the benefit of one or more persons.
Trustee
- a person or persons who look after and manage the Trust and the Trust assets until such time as the Trust is brought to an end.
Will
- a written document outlining a persons las
t wishes to include the appointment of Executors, Guardians and the gift of money or assets to one or more beneficiaries.
Witness
- one of two persons who together watch the Testator sign his Will and then sign in his presence to validate the Will.
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