Glossary of Terms & Abbreviations

A Will uses a number of different legal “terms” – this is what they mean:

Administrator – Someone who deals with an estate if no Will has been made.

Beneficiary – Someone who benefits from a Will.

Codicil – A subsequent addition to the Will.

Devise – A gift of land or property.

Discretionary Trust – A trust which appoints a number of beneficiaries and enables another group of people (called trustees) to have discretion over when and if any of the trust is paid to any of the beneficiaries.

Executor – One or more people who carry out the instructions in the Will.

Gift – A specific gift of an item or collection of items.

Guardian – Someone who looks after children until they become eighteen.

Intestacy – The rules which dictate who inherits if someone does not leave a Will.

Legacy – A specific gift of a sum of money.

Life Interest Trust – A trust which enables a person to benefit from trust assets during their lifetime without actually owning them, which are then passed on to other beneficiaries when that person dies, or some other stipulated event occurs.

Probate – the procedure under which an administrator (if there is no Will) or executor(s) (if there is a Will) are confirmed.

Residue – The estate which is left after debts, taxes, gifts and legacies have been made.

Testator – The person who is making the Will. The female is testatrix.

Trust – A mechanism where assets are appointed to be used in a defined way.

Trustee– One or more people who manage a trust.

Some Common Abbreviations:

EPA – Enduring Power of Attorney (ceased on 1st Oct 2007, but can still be registered if already setup)

LPA – Lasting Power of Attorney (used from 1st Oct 2007)

OPG – Office of the Public Guardian (where LPA’s and EPA’s are registered)

IHT – Inheritance Tax