A person officially appointed to deal with the estate of a person who has died intestate (i.e. not leaving a valid Will) or without naming a valid executor to carry out the intentions of the Will.

Advance Decision
If you are too ill or severely incapacitated to express your wishes regarding the type of treatment you want or to refuse, you can express them in advance with this type of document. Also known as a Living Will

Age to Inherit
The minimum age at which you would wish your beneficiaries to receive their inheritance, normally 18, 21 or 25.

This represents everything that an individual owns including property, land, shares and cash.

Transfer of a right from one party to another

Attestation clause
This is the statement in a Will before the signatures verifying that both the Testator and Witnesses are present at the signing, thereby giving the Will it’s self-proving status.

Someone who will inherit from the Will, a Trust or under the intestacy laws, in whole or in part.

A gift left in a Will.

Chargeable gift
A gift on which Inheritance Tax may be payable.

An addendum signed and executed which alters, cancels or adds something to the provisions of a previously drafted Will

Compos Mentis
Of sound mind.

The process of officially proving the validity of a Will.

The process of ownership of land or property is transferred between a buyer and a seller.

A gift by Will of land or property.

Under Scots Law your domicile is considered to be Scotland if you live in Scotland on a permanent basis regardless of whether you were born in Scotland or moved here from a different country.

The total rights and the total assets of a deceased person

A person specified in the Will to administer the estate.

Someone appointed to safeguard the interests of a child under the age of 18.

Inheritance Tax
Tax payable on the transfer of assets either during an individual’s lifetime or on their death above the Nil Rate Band Threshold currently £3225,000. The tax is 40% on anything above this, payable to HM Revenue and Customs.

Applied to a person, this signifies legal, mental or physical incapacity.

A person who dies without making a valid Will.

A gift made to someone in a Will, which could be a specific item, money, land or a house.

Some who receives a Legacy

Lasting Power of Attorney
A provision for decisions to be made on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity.

Life Interest
The right to enjoy for life (or until a specified time period or an event has occurs, like re-marriage) of either money or property which will eventually revert to the original estate in some way on death. These instructions are included in the Will as to what happens to the gift when the life interest ends.

Matrimonial Home
Any structure provided by one or both spouses/civil partners and forming a family residence.

Moveable Property
Anything other than buildings or land such as money, furniture, cars etc.

Pecuniary Legacy
A gift of cash left in a Will.

Per Capita
By heads

Per Stirpes
By descent; i.e. to the children of the predeceased

Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET)
A gift made during one’s lifetime that is exempt from Inheritance Tax if the donor lives for seven years after making the gift.

Someone who dies before the person who has made the Will, possibly a beneficiary, legatee or trustee.

The remainder of the estate after the payment of all debts, taxes, administration expenses, legacies and bequests under the Will.

The legal term for cancelling a Will.

Reversionary Interest
Interest in trust property.

Specific Legacy
A gift of specific items left in a Will.

The person (male/female) who makes the Will.

A legal arrangement under which a person(s) (named the Trustee(s) hold and manage property for the benefit of another, known as beneficiaries.

The person who holds property on behalf of another person and is responsible for administering the trust assets.

Variation, Deed of
An arrangement whereby certain provisions under a Will can be varied by consent of the beneficiaries.

Will Trust
A legal instrument, used in a Will, ensuring that certain assets are held for and distributed to chosen beneficiaries.

A legal declaration of an individual’s intentions as to how he or she wishes to dispose of their property after death.
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