Abatement A pro rata reduction among creditors (or Legatees) when the funds available
are not sufficient to satisfy the creditors (or the Legatees).
Ad colligenda bona defuncti A grant of administration for the preservation of property
made in order to protect the assets during a delay in the application for a grant.
Ademption The sale or other disposition by the Testator, during his or her lifetime,
of the subject-matter of a specific legacy.
Ad litem A grant of administration for the purpose of an action, in order that the
Estate may be represented in the action.
Administration The process of dealing with the Estate of a deceased person, E.g.
Collecting the assets, paying the debts and taxes and distributing the balance of
the Estate amongst the persons entitled.
Administrator A person appointed by the court to administer the Estate of an intestate,
or of a testator when an executor has not been appointed or the named executor will
not or cannot act.
Advancement A payment or a distribution to a beneficiary of a part of his/her share
of capital before the time fixed for his/her attainment of an absolute interest in
Appropriation The application of property, E.g. For or towards the satisfaction of
a legacy or annuity.
Attestation clause A statement made at the end of the Will above the signatures of
the witnesses, which declares that the Will has been duly signed in the presence
of the witnesses, who attest the Will and sign it in the presence of the testator
and of each other.
Bequest Gift by Will of pure personalty, i.e. Legacy.
Breach of trust Any act carried out, in relation to a trust, by a trustee which he
or she is not entitled to do, either by the terms of the trust, or by the rules of
equity or by statute, or the omission to do any act that should have been carried
out in relation to the trust.
Caveat A notice in writing to the Registrar warning him or her not to issue a grant
of probate without giving notice to the individual lodging the caveat (the caveator)
or his/her solicitor.
Chattels Personal property, chattels personal are movable things and chattels real
are leasehold interest in land.
Codicil A document executed by a testator subsequent to a Will, containing an explanation
or modification, etc., of something in the Will.
Commorientes Persons who die together - at the same time.
Contingent legacy A legacy which transfers no interest at all unless a specified
but uncertain event happens.
Cumulative legacy A legacy which is additional to one previously awarded to the same
Cy-pres Name given to the doctrine relating to charities whereby effect is given
as nearly as may be to an intention of a donor or testator which cannot be carried
Devise A gift by Will of real or leasehold property.
Devolution The passing of property by process of law.
Double probate Where some of several executors to a Will do not prove, they may obtain
a grant of probate later, such a grant being termed a double probate.
Equitable apportionment A rule of equity deemed to carry out the unexpressed intention
of the testator in order to give effect to and protect the respective rights of the
life tenant and the remainderman.
Estate A term meaning the property of the deceased person to which he/she is beneficially
Excepted estates Certain small non-complicated estates in respect of which no formal
Inland Revenue account need be submitted for IHT purposes.
Executor A male person appointed by a Will to administer the Estate of a deceased
Executrix A female person appointed by a Will to administer the Estate of a deceased
Executor's oath An affidavit sworn by an executor, declaring among other things,
that he/she believes the Will to be the true last Will of the deceased and that he/she
will carry out all the duties of administration.
General legacy A legacy which cannot be specifically identified by the personal representative,
e.g. A gift of £200 or a picture (where the testator does not refer to any particular
Gift inter vivos An unconditional gift of property made prior to death.
Holograph Will A Will entirely in the handwriting of the testator.
Implied trust A trust implied from the presumed, but unexpressed, intention of a
Intestate A person who has died without making a valid Will.
Issue All lineal descendants of a person.
Joint tenancy Concurrent interest in property where the same interest is held under
the same instrument by two or more persons in the same right, with the right of survivorship
incidental. Joint tenants have one estate in the whole, not in shares (see Tenancy
Lapse The failure of a legacy or devise owing to the death of the legatee or devisee
before the testator, except where the deceased legatee or devisee was a descendant
of the testator and left issue of his own which survived the testator.
Legacy A gift of pure personal property by Will.
Legal personal representative The executor or administrator of the Estate of a deceased
person in whom is vested the administration and distribution of the Estate.
Maintenance The application by the trustees, for the benefit of the beneficiary,
of the whole or part of the income from property held in trust.
Noncupative Will A Will made orally before witnesses.
Partial intestate A person who has died without wholly disposing of his/her property
Perpetuity A limitation which must vest after the utmost period allowed by law.
Personal chattels All household furniture and personal effects, except goods used
for business purposes, money, bank balances or securities for money.
Per stirpes By families, i.e. By representation of a dead claimant by his/her issue
taking his/her share.
Power of appointment An authority given to some person (called the donee of the power)
to nominate the person who shall take certain specified property belonging to the
person creating the power (called the donor of power).
Probate The legal recognition of the validity of a Will.
Remainderman The person who takes the capital of an Estate on the death of the life
Residuary devisee The person who takes the remainder of the real property after the
payment of all debts and legacies charged on such property, and after the satisfaction
of all gifts of such property.
Residuary legatee The person who takes the remainder of the personal property after
the payment of all debts and legacies payable threrout.
Resulting trust Trust of which the beneficial interest results or returns to the
creator of the trust.
Reversionary interest Any right to the ownership of property at a future date.
Satisfaction The gift of a thing in extinguishment of a prior claim.
Settlement An arrangement by which property is held on trust, generally for several
beneficiaries in succession, some of them unborn at the time of making the settlement.
Specific legacy A gift of a thing identified by the testator in his/her Will.
Statutory trusts The trust upon which, under section 47 Administration of Estates
Act 1925, the residuary Estate of an intestate is held for the benefit of the class
of relatives entitled thereto, until they attain an absolutely vested interest.
Substitutional legacy A gift of personalty made in lieu of a previous gift, where
the testator indicated that it was not his/her intention that the legatee should
take both gifts.
Successor The person entitled to the beneficial interest passing under a devise of
freehold or leasehold property.
Tenancy in common Concurrent interests in property where the tenants have several
distinct, though undivided, interests in respective parts of the property ( see joint
Testamentary expenses The expenses incurred in obtaining probate or letters of administration,
paying Inheritance Tax and debts, and realizing the assets.
Testator A male person who makes a Will.
Testatrix A female person who makes a Will.
Trust A trust is an arrangement by which property is handed over to one or more persons
called trustees, or validly declared by the owner to be held by himself as trustee,
to be applied for the benefit of some other person, or persons, called beneficiaries,
of whom any trustee may be one.
Trust Corporation The Public Trustee or any corporation either appointed by the court
in any particular case to be a trustee or entitled to act as a custodian trustee
under the Public Trustee Rules 1912.
Trustee The person who holds property on behalf of another person and to whom is
committed the administration of a trust.
Trustee securities Those securities in which trustees are permitted to invest trust
moneys by virtue of the provisions of the Trustee Act 1925 ( as amended by the Trustee
Investment Act 1961).
Vested Legacy A legacy which transfers an immediate title to the legatee, even though
the payment is deferred to some future date.
Warning A notice entered by an executor at the Principle Probate Registry and served
upon a caveator, calling upon him/her to enter an appearance within six days to show
cause why probate should not be granted.
Will Any valid declaration of a person's intentions as to property which he or she
can dispose of after his or her death, which he or she requires to be performed after