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Will Jargon Explained

November 08, 2013  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Are you one of those people who have been putting of making a will because… well, you haven’t got the time, or you can’t be bothered to sort through your paperwork, or perhaps the whole thing is a bit daunting and what on earth do all those legal terms mean anyway? No more excuses! Today you’re going to get a crash course in the jargon used the will making process, and then you’re going to call a solicitor to make an appointment to draw up your will. Ok? Ok. As a responsible adult (which I’m sure you are really), there’s no other document as important as an up-to-date will to provide you with peace of mind and reassurance that your family will be sorted if the worst should happen.

So have a quick look through our list of common will jargon and you’ll see that it’s not at all as complicated as you might have thought:

Administrator – the person who settles your affairs if you die without making a will.

Beneficiary – a person who receives an item from your will.

Bequest (or Legacy) – a gift you leave in your will. This can be a specific object, property, a sum of money, or a percentage of your estate.

Crown (or Treasury) – the Government. Your assets will go to the Crown/Treasury if you haven’t made a will and have no next of kin.

Estate – the sum of your assets – the entire value of your property, investments, possessions etc left after your death. (Note: this total is calculated after any outstanding debts or loans are deducted.)

Executors – the person/s you have chosen to carry out the instructions in your will – for example your solicitor, a friend, or a family member.

Inheritance Tax – this tax of 40% is applicable to estates of over £325,000. You will not be taxed on money you leave to your spouse or a charity. There is a reduction in the rate of inheritance tax for those who leave 10% of their estate to charity.

Intestacy – the name for the situation if you die without making a will.

Liability – any outstanding payments or debts that need to be paid after your death, for example: credit cards/agreements, loans or mortgages.

Probate – the process of establishing if your will is valid so that your bequests/legacies can be passed on to the people you have specified.

Revisionary – a gift you leave in your will to a specific person for their lifetime, after which it will be passed on to someone else of your choosing.

Testator/Testatrix – that’s you: the person making the will.

Trust – an arrangement for administering your assets after your death.

All clear? Making a will can be very straightforward and doesn’t take long to do. If you’re in the Maidenhead or Beaconsfield area, get in touch with us at Frances Lindsay & Co to have a chat and book an appointment to draw up your will and we’ll get you on the road to being a proper grown up with a professionally-made will. 

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