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Probate Department

Legal Terminology

Administration of estates The management and distribution of a deceased person's estate
Administrator (masculine) When someone dies intestate (without making a Will)
Administratrix The feminie version of administrator
Assets The total property of a person, firm or organisation
Attestation The signature of the witness to a document's execution (signing)
Attestation Clause Last clause of a Will (or other legal document) stating that the document has been signed in the presence of the witnesses
Beneficiary A person entitled to benefit under the Will. A beneficiary must not witness the Will
Bequeath To leave personal property to others in a Will
Bequest A gift in Will of property, other than land
Caveat Latin 'let a person beware' ie a warning.
Certified copy A copy of an original deed or document which is signed and certified as true
chattels Any property other than freehold land
Codicil A separate document which amends or adds to an existing Will
Commissioner for oaths Persons appointed by the Lord Chancellor to administer oaths to persons making affidavits. Most solicitors and legal executives are also commissioners for oaths
Deceased A person who has died
Devise A gift in a Will of lands and goods
Domicile The country that a person treats as their permanent home
Dying without issue To without leaving children, grandchildren or other descendants
Estate The total possessions of a person when they die. Includes: property, money, possessions, investments, etc
Executor (Masculine) The person appointed in a Will to administer the estate of the deceased
Executrix (Feminine) The person appointed in a Will to administer the estate of the deceased
Heir A person who inherits an estate
Inheritance That which descends to the heir on the death of the owner
Intestate The state in which a person dies without leaving a valid Will
Legacy A gift of personal property
Pecuniary Legacy A gift of money in a Will
Predecease To die before someone else
Probate A certificate giving an executor the right to administer the deceased's estate. Probate is granted by the Family Division of the High Court
Residue The remains of an estate after payment of debts, funeral expenses and legacies
Revoke Cancel, withdraw
Specific Legacy Leaving a specific item in a Will
Testamentary expenses Expenses incurred in administering a deceased's estate
Testator/Testarix (Male/Female) Person who makes a Will
Trustee A person appointed in a Will to administer a trust
Vested interest A claim under a Will
Will Declaration made in writing concerning the dispostion of property etc after death
Created by: Davinder Heer