Legal Will Writers of Aberdeen, Inverness & Moray

 Legal Jargon of a Will  -  Glossary of Legal Terms in a Will

The following is a glossary of legal terms used in a Scottish Will with an easy to understand explanation.

Beneficiary: A person or organisation who benefits from a Will or Trust.

Discretionary Trust: A Trust where the Trustee has full power to decide when and which members of a groupm of beneficiaries are to benefit.

Domicile:  Usually the country where you live ie; your permanent place of residence.

Estate:The assets you own which can be left under your Will (property, money, insurance policies, stocks, bonds)

Executor:  A person or company named in the Will to be responsible for carrying our the terms of the Will and settling debts.

Guardians: People appointed to care for minor children when parents die. If you are not marred to the parent of your child it is wise to make a will stating your wishes regarding guardianship

Heritable Property: In Scots law, 'heritable property' means land and buildings. while 'moveable property; includes such things as money, shares, cars, furniture and jewellery.

Intestacy:  Where there is no Will, The State decides who will inherit. However, if a person makes a Will but part of their wishes cannot be carried out, perhaps because a beneficiary has died before them and there is no provision as to what should happen to their share of the estate, then that part of the estate could fall into intestacy

Intestate:  Without having made a Will.

Issue:  Your children, their children and their children etc.ie bloodline decendents

Joint Property: There are two ways of jointly owning property.  Joint Tenancy - The property passes to the survivor on first death.     Tenants-in-Common - The property passes according to the Will

Joint Tenancy: The property passes to the survivor on first death. A joint tennant cannot make a gift of his or her share of the property to anyone else (in a Will ) as it is not his or hers to give.

Just Debts:  These are the justifiable debts owed to other parties following death. They can include the funeral expenses, the funeral catering, mortgage payments, rent, utility bills, the expenses of administering the estate, tax or anything else you would have been obliged to pay in life.

Legacy:  A gift left in a Will. This can be any of the things you own - property, money, jewllery, contents of a bank account etc

Legal Rights: A surviving spouse or civil partner and children are entitled to certain "legal rights" out of the deceased person's moveable estate.(read more)

Legatee:  Someone who receives a Legacy

Life Interest: The right to enjoy for life (or a specific period of time or an event has occurred like remarrying) either money or property which will eventually revert to the original estate in some way on death. Instructions are included in the Will as to what should happen to the money or property when the life interest ends.

Living Will: Also called an Advance Directive. A document containing instructions to medical personnel to allow them to stop prolonging a person's life in the event of that person becoming terminally ill, permanently inconscious or losing mental capacity. Living Wills cannot necessarily be enforced by law.

Mirror Will:   A Will almost identical to another person's - usually husband and wife or partners, leaving mainly to the same beneficiaries after each other.

Movable Property: In Scots law, 'moveable property; includes such things as money, shares, cars, furniture and jewellery.

Powers of Attorney: An individual (the Grantor) gives someone Power of Attorney to enable them to manage that person's financial affairs ( Continuing Power of Attorney ) or personal welfare ( Welfare Power of Attorney )

Pre-deceased: This term in a Will refers to the possibility that a Legatee or Beneficiary dies before the person making the Will and as a result their share cannot be given to them.

Prior Rights: In Scotland when a person dies without making a Will (Intestate) the spouse has 'prior rights' to a portion of the estate, but they do not automatically inherit it all. (read more)

Property:  All assests, not just houses and land.

Representation: The provision where if your named Beneficiary fails to survive you that Beneficiary's children will receive equally between them the share of your estate that their parent would have inherited had they survived.

Residue:  The remainder of the estate after paying Just Debts and Legacies, although not always this is usually the largest and most important part of the estate

Tenants-in-Common - The property passes according to the Will. Where a property is owned jointly but each owner has a distinct share, which forms part of their estate on death and does not pass automatically to the surviving joint owner.(ie your share can be gifted in your Will to whoever you choose)

Testate: Having a valid Will

Testator: The person making the Will

Trust:    A written agreement where a trustee is given money or assets to manage for the benefit of other people known as beneficiaries.

Trustee:  Person or company appointed to administer the Trust

Will:    A written document controlling how a person's estate is distributed after their death

Witness: A person who verifies the signature of a testator by waqtching the testator sign the Will. The Witness should not be a beneficiary or need to see the contents of the Will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legal Jargon Explained   -  Glossary of Terms