Legal wording explained

  • Asset: Any property or belonging owned by the testator.
  • Beneficiary: A person or organisation who will benefit from your Will.
  • Codicil: A document containing a change or addition to an existing Will.
  • Estate: Everything you own at the time of death.
  • Executors: The people or organisations you have appointed to handle your affairs according to your will.
  • Gift Aid: A form of tax relief on lump sum gifts.
  • Intestate: If someone dies without making a will they are said to have died ‘intestate’.
  • Legacy/bequest: A term used to describe a gift in a Will.
  • Legator: someone who had died and left a legacy to charity in his or her Will.
  • Pecuniary gift: A gift of a fixed sum of money decided by you.
  • Probate: The legal procedure to establish a Will is valid and genuine, and by which the executors are given the authority to act.
  • Residue: What is left of your estate after all the other gifts have been paid and all debts, taxes and expenses settled.
  • Residuary gift: is when you decide to leave all of the remainder of your estate, or a percentage thereof, once family and friends have been taken care of. Many people choose this latter option. This has the benefit that proportionally it will not devalue over time.
  • Specific gift: this is a bequest of specific personal possessions such as property, works of art or antiquities, stocks and shares.
  • Testator/Testatrix: the person making the Will.