For Individuals

Wills and Estate Glossary


What is a Will?

A Will is document conforming to certain legal requirements which disposes of your property after death

What is a Testator?

A Testator is the person making a Will, the female form is testatrix.

Who is the Executor?

An Executor is the person or body responsible for collecting in the deceased's assets, paying any taxes, and distributing the estate in accordance with the Will. The female form is Executrix, though rarely used now

What is a Legacy?

A legacy is a gift of personal or moveable property (including cash, shares etc.) in a Will. Someone who receives a legacy is a legatee

What is a Devise?

A Devise is a gift of real or immovable property such as land, houses or flats in a Will

What is a Bequest?

A Bequest is a generic term used to cover both legacies and devises

What are Testamentary Expenses?

Testamentary expenses are the legal costs of winding up your Estate

What is included in my Estate?

Everything you own at the time of your death

What is my Residuary Estate?

Everything you own at the time of your death less any legacies or devises you have made, your debts, funeral expenses and costs of winding up your Estate

What is a Beneficiary?

Generic term for any person who benefits under a Will

Who is a Guardian?

Person appointed by Will to take over such parental rights as you may have over any child of yours under 18 at your death

What is a Trust?

A trust is an arrangement by which a person, the Trustee, holds legal ownership of money or property for the benefit of another person

What does Intestacy/Intestate mean?

Dying without having made a Will. The law then states how your Estate is distributed, usually to close relatives.

There is no provision under the intestacy laws for unmarried partners, whether the same or differing sex

Who is the Administrator?

The person entitled at law to administer your Estate if you die without a Will, that is intestate