Probate Jargon BusterFrequently Asked Questions
a person appointed by the Probate Court to take care of the estate if a Will has not been made.
anything you own of value including property and land, investments, cash and items such as paintings, antiques or valuable jewellery.
a person or institution, such as a charity, which is set to receive something under a Will, Trust or Intestacy.
someone’s personal belongings which includes furniture, art, antiques, jewellery, etc
a legal document that is used to make small changes to your Will. All the formalities which are required in making a Will must be conformed to when making a Codicil.
another word for the government or state. When someone’s estate passes to the crown this may mean that the person died without a Will or family and therefore the estate of that person had nowhere to go other than to the Crown.
a document which is signed by an Executor of a Will who does not want to take up their appointment. An Executor can only renounce if they have not in officially intermeddled in the estate.
any assets and chattels owned by the deceased including any jointly owned assets.
the person or persons named in the Will to deal with the administration of your estate after your death.
issued by the Probate Court where there is no Will but gives the same authority as a Grant of Probate.
the legal document issued by the Probate Court to the Executors that authorises them to deal with the assets in the deceased’s name. This is the document which allows the Executor(s) to close bank accounts, sell shares or property, transfer assets to beneficiaries, etc.
if someone dies without a Will then the deceased’s assets will be distributed in accordance with the strict rules of Intestacy.
means down the bloodline so children (including adopted children), grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on.
an arrangement where property or assets are held by two or more people. On the death of one of the joint holders the ownership of the property or asset passes to the surviving joint holders automatically regardless of whether the asset or property has been specifically gifted in your Will to someone else.
a gift included in the terms of the Will. If it is a fixed sum of money it is known as a pecuniary legacy or if it is a specific item it is known as a specific legacy.
This is the name given to the person receiving the gift.
a general term for both Executors and Administrators.
If an Executor does not want to act as an Executor at the stage of applying for Grant of Probate they can have Power Reserved which means they do not apply for the Grant of Probate with the other Executor(s) but can step back in at a later stage.
the public body responsible for issuing the Grants of Probate and Grant of Letters of Administration
land and buildings.
what is left of a person’s estate once the assets have been dealt with and liabilities including funeral costs and taxes have been settled. The Residue is the amount left to be distributed between the beneficiaries.
the alternative way to hold jointly owned property. Tenants in common own specific shares of an asset that can be passed to a beneficiary under the terms of a Will. It does not automatically pass to the surviving joint holders.
the person who is writing the Will. If it is a woman writing the Will they are sometimes referred to as the Testatrix.
a Will must be witnessed by two people and they must not be a beneficiary of the Will or close family member of the beneficiary. They also must be over the age of 18.