Basic Will Writing Glossary

Administrator:

Someone who is appointed by law to settle your affairs if you die without a Will.

Beneficiary:

Anyone who receives anything from your Will.

Estate:

The total value of everything you own at your death, less any outstanding commitments.

Executors:

Those people you choose to make your Will happen, minimum qty 1

Funeral arrangements:

Directions you can give in your Will regarding your wishes such as details of the funeral services, or the burial, ‘In memoriam’ gifts to charity in lieu of flowers, etc.

Guardian:

A person with legal control or responsibility for a Minor (i.e. a child under 18).

Inheritance Tax:

A 40% tax payable on larger estates. (A legacy to charity is free of Inheritance Tax).

Intestate (or Intestacy): The name for the situation that arises when someone dies without making a Will.

Minor under English Law:

A person under the age of 18

Legacy:

A gift in a Will – either a specific item (a Specific Legacy) or a gift of money (a Pecuniary Legacy).

Residue or Residuary Estate:

The remainder of your estate after the deduction of tax, debts, legacies, and the expenses of administration.

Residuary beneficiary:

A beneficiary who receives the residue of an estate, or part of it.

Testator:

(or testatrix if female) a person who makes a Will.

Will:

A legal document which sets out the wishes of the testator for the distribution of his or her estate and certain other matters after his or her death.

Witness:

A person who signs a Will to verify that they saw the testator (testatrix) sign it and that he/she was of sound mind at the time. Each Will must have two witnesses.