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Wills, probate & disputed estates solicitors
Legal dictionary

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Legal dictionary

Below is an explantion of the common terms you will come across when making your will or trust.


Administrators
The legal representatives of a deceased person who dies not having made a Will.  They are usually the closest relatives of the deceased. Legal title to the deceased's assets does not pass to the administrators until a Grant of Representation has been obtained

Estate
All the assets and liabilities of a deceased person including house or flat, shares, cash, savings, investments etc. and also outstanding debts.

Executors
The legal representatives of a deceased person appointed under a Will. Legal title to the deceased's assets passes automatically to the executors on death.

Grant of Representation
This is obtained from the Probate Registry following a death.  The Grant will be made to the executors where there is a Will and to the closest relatives where there is no Will.  This document is called a Grant of Probate where there is a Will and a Grant of Letters of Administration where there is no Will.  A deceased person's estate can be dealt with once the Grant of Representation has been obtained.

Intestacy
This arises where someone dies without having made a Will.  Their estate passes to their nearest relatives in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.  It is not the case that the surviving spouse necessarily receives the entire estate.

Nil Rate Band
The amount of the value of assets which a deceased person can leave to friends or family without having to pay any Inheritance Tax. The nill rate band currently stands at £325,000.

Trust
A method of holding assets, e.g. property, shares or money which are held by a small group of people for the benefit of others.


For further advice on any aspect of wealth planning for the future you can Jan Atkinson, Head of Department by:

Jan is a member of the Private Client Section Executive Committee of the Law Society.