Abacus Wills & Trusts Glossary

You may have heard numerous words or phrases relating to the subject of Wills and/or Lasting Powers of Attorney. The following list should hopefully explain what they all mean.

If you have any questions, or there is a term that you cannot see on the list, please do not hesitate to contact us – we’ll be happy to help.

Bequest

A gift of a particular object or cash

Beneficiary

Any person or organisation named in your Will to receive a share of your possessions or a gift.

Chattels

These are your personal possessions, such as clothes or furniture that have not already been given in a Will as a specific item or gift.

Estate

All your possessions including money and property that are left when you die, after all debts have been taken into account.

Executor

The person or people you appoint to administer your Will and Estate in line with your wishes after your death.

Inheritance Tax

Payable when an Estate is worth over £325,000. Tax rates are subject to change. We can advise you on how this could affect your Will, and help you to plan to reduce the amount you pay.

Intestate

If you die without having made a valid Will, your Estate is subject to the laws of ‘Intestacy’.

Legacy

A gift you want to make to an individual, or organisation such as a charity.

Power of Attorney

A legal document in which one person gives another person power to carry out actions on their behalf.

Probate

The legal process whereby Executors obtain confirmation that a Will is valid and they have the necessary authority to carry out the instructions contained in it.

Residue

The remainder of your estate once gifts have been distributed and any debts, tax and fees paid.

Spouse

A married partner, not a cohabiter.

Testator

You – the person making a Will.

Trust

An arrangement you can make to set aside assets which people only receive or benefit from under specific circumstances, such as them reaching a certain age. Trusts may also be used to protect the value of possessions or investments.