Our Glossary helps to make the process of drafting a Will, Lasting Power of Attorney or a Protected Property Trust
more accessible and jargon free.


The signing and witnessing of a Will.

A person appointed in a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Any person, or organization such as a charity, who is entitled to the benefit of the land or property of the Testator.

A gift of personal property or chattels by Will.

Ability to make a Will by satisfying all the legal requirements.

Any personal property belonging to a person, not land or property used for business purposes.

An attested document, which adds to, explains, alters or confirms a Will previously made by him/her.

Part of the Family Division of the High Court dealing with matters relating to a Will.


A document which allows the terms of a Will to be varied, with the consent of all beneficiaries. Such a variation must be done within two years of the death of the Testator.

Rejection of a gift in a Will by a beneficiary.

A trust fund which is set up for the benefit of a number of named beneficiaries and, under the terms of the trust, the Trustees decide which of the beneficiaries will benefit and by how much.

Dying without a Will..

The person who carries out the administration of a Will. An Executor will apply for Grant of Probate, collect in assets, pay debts and distribute the remainder of the Estate according to the terms of the Will.

A person appointed by Will to take parental responsibility for children and look after them until they attain their majority (18).

The legal document issued by the Probate Registry, appointing an administrator to deal with an estate. This is issued where the deceased has not made a will or any will that the deceased has made is not valid or there is a will but no named executor, where the executors are unable to apply, where they do not wish to be involved in dealing with the estate.

Certificate issued by the Probate Office, which is sealed by the Court and confirms that the Will has been proved and gives authority for the Executors to act.

He/she who succeeds by right of blood to the real property of their ancestor on intestacy

Tax which is payable to HM Revenue & Customs on a deceased person’s estate over and above the current nil rate band threshold.

The ownership of land/property by more than one person; on the death of one joint owner the land passes to the survivor(s).

Where a beneficiary predeceases the Testator, the gift to that beneficiary is said to lapse.

A document used to appoint someone (or more than one person) that you trust completely, to have the legal power to deal with all of your financial affairs. i.e paying your bills. It replaces the old Enduring Power of Attorney.

A document used to give someone authority to act on your behalf, to deal with your medical treatment and generally look after your best interests whilst you are unable to do so yourself.

Gift of personal property by Will.

If a person dies without leaving a Will, to enable the estate to be distributed Letters of Administration will be granted to an interested person. An interested person is someone with an interest in the estate being wound up. For example a spouse, child, creditor etc.

When a person is entitled to benefit from an asset during his/her own lifetime then, on his/her death, the asset will pass to another beneficiary named in the Testator’s Will.

Also known as an Advanced Directive. A document which guides the medical profession on your wishes regarding the use of life-sustaining procedures. A much more basic document then the Lasting Power of Attorney – Personal Welfare.

The amount that an individual can leave on his/her death subject to 0% inheritance tax. This is generally adjusted on an annual basis in the Budget £325,000 for 2012/13 allowance.

A child’s mother has parental responsibility unless it is removed from her by a Court. So too does the father if he was married to the mother, or if he successfully applies for it through the court, or if after December 2003 he is named on the child’s birth certificate

Occurs where part of the residuary gift fails because there are no beneficiaries to collect. For example, the residuary beneficiary has predeceased the Testator and there was no provision for alternatives.

Gifts of money.

This is a generic term for Administrators and Executors.

These are transfers made by a Testator during his/her lifetime. If these transfers were made within seven years before death, inheritance tax will be potentially payable on such gifts by the beneficiary.


Freehold land, immoveable property.

That which remains of the decease’s estate after the payment of debts, funeral expenses, legacies etc.

To cancel an existing Will in writing, or to automatically cancel an existing Will by completing a new Will.

Where two or more persons own part of the same property individually. In their Will, each person can leave their part to a different beneficiary.

A statement made by a Testator, such as a Will.

The person who sets out his wishes and requests as to how their estate should be divided in the form of a will.

See above TESTATOR – A female testator

Where assets are held by one or more persons [the Trustee(s)] for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries.

Someone who is given the legal responsibility to holds any assets until nominated beneficiaries meet certain criteria set out in the deceased’s will e.g. until a beneficiary reaches the age of 18. Trustees normally have powers to distribute monies and have full power to sell and invest.

The persons who must be present to see the testator sign the will. They must also sign the will themselves and should not be one of the beneficiaries.