Administrator-a court appointed person or corporation in charge of managing
the estate of a person who died without a will.
Appraisal-documentation showing the fair market value of property.
Attorney in fact-a person with the power granted under a power of attorney.
Beneficiary-the recipient of proceeds from a life insurance policy or a will.
Bequest- any gift of property made by a valid will.
Capacity-meaning a legal adult because of sound mind and no outside influence
having the ability to execute a will.
Codicil-an amendment to the original will that changes the provisions of the
Common law marriage -treated different by some states, where a man and a woman
live together appearing to be legally married.
Community property-where one spouse has a one half interest in the subject
property, regardless of that spouse's financial participation.
Contest-challenge the validity of a will.
- Someone appointed by a judge to
oversee the affairs of an incapacitated person. A conservator who manages
financial affairs is often called a "conservator of the estate." One
who takes care of personal matters, such as healthcare and living
arrangements, is known as a "conservator of the person." A
conservator may also be called a guardian.
Contingent Beneficiary-a person who is not the primary beneficiary but would
take the place of the primary if certain provisions took place. Example -
death of primary beneficiary
Curtesy-widower's right to a share of his deceased wife's estate.
Dependent-a person who for various reasons must rely on another for support
Devise-a gift of real estate made by a will.
Dower-widow's right to a share of her deceased husband's estate.
Durable power of attorney-withstands the incapacity or the incompetence of the
Escheat-when there are no surviving beneficiaries or heirs, the state takes
over the estate property.
Elective share-right of the surviving spouse to receive dower or curtesy
Estate-all assets and liabilities left by a person who has died.
Estate tax-federal and state taxes on property transferred upon death.
Execute-to complete and sign creating a valid document.
Executor (Male) or Executrix (female) - who is named by the person
making the will to administer the estate. May be entitled to certain expenses
to administer the will.
Guardian-a person who has the legal responsibility for care of a minor child
or adult who is incompetent.
Heir (Male) Heiress (Female) - person who may inherit or who may
receive property through a family succession without a will.
Intestate- to die without a will. A probate court
appoints an administrator to distribute the deceased person's property
according to state law.
Irrevocable- something in writing or given that
can't be changed or revoked.
Joint Property-property owned jointly with another person or persons.
Liabilities-Amount owed. Debts, Mortgages,
Life insurance trust-a trust funded from the monies provided from life
Liquid assets-cash, coin and anything that can be quickly and easily converted
to cash. Stocks may be - or consider "near cash".
Living trust-a trust established during the life of the trustee.
Living will-a document for grave times of terminal illness or unconsciousness
which has the signed and witnessed wishes of the testator that his or her life
should not be prolonged by artificial means.
Notary-a person with a state commission to attest to the validity of the
signatures on documents. Typlically a notary could be a town clerk. They stamp
a document and "seal" it with their own stamp.
Personal property-all property other than real property which is real estate.
Personal representative-a state resident who receives legal notices on behalf
of a nonresident person.
Power of attorney-a written document by you authorizing someone to act on your
behalf for some or all of your personal or business matters.
Pre-nuptual agreement-an agreement specifying ownership rights of assets prior
to marriage. May change over number of years married. Often challenged.
Probate-court process of proving the validity of a will.
Real property- Real estate.
Residue-what is left in an estate after all bequests have been made.
Revocable-capable of being changed or revoked.
Right of survivorship-bypassing probate, this right of a joint property owner
provides that in the event of death, the surviving joint owner receives
ownership in full. (Joint with rights of survivorship)
Separate property-property that is not community property.
-a will, a document that deals with the disposition of one's property
upon death. The statement of the person making the will.
Testate - The circumstance of dying after
making a valid will. A person who dies with a will is said to have died
Testator-a person who makes a valid will. The
"owner" of the will.
Trust-an arrangement where a person known as a trustee holds and manages
property of another person known as the trust beneficiary.
Will-a testament, a document that deals with the disposition of one's property
Witness-as pertains to a will, a person who is present at the time the other
witnesses, notary and testator are all also present in his or her company
and with proof of identification signs the will and watches all the others
sign at the same time.