Terms used in wills and probate matters
The person who deals with (administers) the estate of a person who has died intestate (without a will).
A gift of a particular object (for example, an item of jewellery).
In will or intestacy matters, the children of the person who has died include adopted children and illegitimate children (children born to parents who were unmarried), but not their stepchildren (unless they are specifically mentioned).
This term has no legal force, although a partner who lived with the person who died for two years before their death may be able to claim a share of the estate.
A gift of a house or land.
A lease of a house or flat.
All the assets and property of the person who has died, including all houses, cars, investments, money and belongings.
The person appointed in the will to deal with the estate of a person who has died.
The tax that may have to be paid when the total estate of a person who has died is more than a certain amount (currently £312,000).
Without a will, or a person who dies without having made a will.
All the descendants of a person (children, grandchildren, great - grandchildren and so on).
A gift of money (usually a specific amount).
The document issued to the administrators by the Probate Registry to authorise them to deal with the estate.
The right to receive the income or benefit from a property or capital sum (but not to get the capital sum itself) for life.
A person under 18.
In will or intestacy matters the person entitled to the estate when a person dies intestate (without a will).
The value of an estate up to which inheritance tax is not payable.
Personal belongings, including jewellery, furniture, wine, pictures, books and cars (but not money, investments, property or business assets).
All the investments and belongings of a person apart from land and buildings.
A general term for administrators and executors.
The document issued to executors by the probate registry to authorise them to deal with the estate.
Making the application for probate to the probate registry.
A court within the Family Division of the High Court which deals with probate and administration matters. The Principal Registry is in London and there are district registries in other cities and some large towns.
Land and buildings owned by a person.
The person who gets the property or capital sum after the death of the person holding a ‘life interest’
What is left to share out after all the debts, inheritance tax and specific bequests and legacies have been paid.
Particular items gifted by the will. They may be called ‘specific legacies’.
A person who makes a will. Testatrix is sometimes used to mean a female will-maker.
The document in which you say what will happen to your money and your possessions on your death.
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