Wills and Probate Glossary

    • Administrator
      A person entitled by law to manage and distribute your estate if you die intestate.
    • Administratrix
      A person entitled by law to manage and distribute your estate if you die intestate.
    • Assets
      Assets of a person are divided into real and personal assets. Examples of real assets are such things as land and buildings. Personal assets are things such as stocks, shares, money, jewellery, furniture etc. Your Will will take into account all assets that you own at the date of your death and that form part of your estate.
    • Attorney
      A person appointed under a Power of Attorney to act on behalf of the donor.
    • Beneficiary
      A person or organisation to which you make a bequest in your Will.
    • Common law spouse
      There is no such thing as a common law spouse in law, and this is quite a common misconception.
    • Court of Protection
      An office of the High Court, with power to make decisions in relation to the property and financial affairs, health care and personal welfare of adults (and children in a few cases) who lack capacity.
    • Deed of variation
      It is possible that you have been left some money or perhaps a share in a loved one's estate that you do not wish to receive. This may be for personal reasons or perhaps you would like your share to be passed to your children or another named beneficiary instead of you. You will need to execute a valid Deed of Variation of the Will within two years of the date of death of the Deceased for this to be valid.
    • Died Intestate
      This is where a person has died without having a valid Will in place. Their estate is then administered in accordance with the Intestacy Rules.
    • Deputy
      An individual appointed by the Court of Protection to act and make decisions on behalf of a person who lacks the mental capacity to make those decisions for themselves.
    • Domicile
      Domicile is a concept of general law. There are many factors which can affect your domicile. Broadly speaking, you are domiciled in the country where you have your permanent home. Domicile is distinct from nationality or residence. You can only have one domicile at any given time.
    • Enduring Power of Attorney
      An Enduring Power of Attorney is a Power of Attorney which continues to be valid (or ‘endures’) after the Donor has become mentally incapable of managing his or her affairs. Once executed by the donor and the attorney/s the Power will act as an Ordinary Power of Attorney until such time that the attorney/s has or have reason to believe that the donor is becoming or has become mentally incapable. The attorney is under a duty at this point to register the power at the Court of Protection. Once registered the Power will be able to be used by the attorney in the same way as before. Enduring Powers of Attorney can no longer be created, but any created before 1 October 2007 still remain valid.
    • Executor
      A person you appoint to carry out the instructions in your Will.
    • Executrix
      A female person you appoint to carry out the instructions in your Will.
    • Grant of Probate/Representation
      It may be necessary to obtain a Grant of Probate/Letters of Administration when the deceased has left over £5,000 in the deceased’s estate as you may not be able to deal with the deceased’s assets without this. Again you should consult our Wills and Estate Planning Department if Probate is required and they will be happy to assist you in your application to the Probate Registry.
    • Guardian
      You may appoint legal guardians for your children under the terms of your Will.
    • IHT400
      This is an Inland Revenue Inheritance Tax Return that may need to be completed if the deceased’s estate is over and above the Inheritance Tax Threshold. This form details all the assets and liabilities of the deceased’s estate and is submitted to the Inland Revenue Capital Taxes office before probate can be applied for. If we are instructed to deal with the administration of your loved ones estate we will complete and submit this form for you.
    • Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants Act) 1975
      It is possible under this act to bring a claim that you have not been adequately provided for under terms of a deceased Will or Intestacy. However you are only able to make a claim under this act if you are able to satisfy the criteria under the act in the first place.
    • Inheritance Tax
      If you die with an estate in excess of the Inheritance Tax (IHT) Threshold which is currently £325,000, then anything in your estate over this threshold will be taxed at 40%. There are exemptions available to Spouses and Charities under the IHT rules however the tax burden may still be relevant when the surviving spouse has passed away and therefore if your estate has a potential IHT liability it is wise to seek advice.
    • Intestacy
      A person who dies without a valid Will in place is deemed to have died intestate. Consequently, their estate will be administered under rules laid down in law called the ‘Intestacy Rules’.
    • Intestacy Rules
      As stated above if you die without having a valid will in place your estate will be administered under rules laid down in law. The Intestacy Rules will stipulate who is entitled to deal with your estate and who is entitled to benefit from your estate. In order to administer the estate correctly it is imperative that you are aware of who is entitled to extract the Grant of Letters of Administration and who is entitled to benefit under the estate.
    • Lasting Powers of Attorney
      A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that enables any individual over the age of 18 and who has mental capacity (the donor) to choose another individual or individuals (called attorneys) to make decisions on their behalf. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: A property and financial affairs LPA (for decisions about finances, such as selling the donor's house or managing their bank account) and a health and welfare LPA (for decisions about both health and personal welfare, such as where to live, day-to-day care or medical treatment).
    • Letters of Administration
      If the deceased died without having a valid will in place then the administrators will be required to apply to the Probate Registry for a Grant of Letters of Administration to deal with the assets within the estate.
    • Letters of Administration with Will annexed
      Where there is a valid will in place but the appointment of executors has failed either because they have predeceased the testator or because they are unable or unwilling to act as Executors, a Grant of Representation can usually be applied for by one or more of the Residuary beneficiaries with a copy of the Will annexed.
    • Mental Incapacity
      In order to execute any kind of legal document including Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney it is necessary for you or your loved one to have the necessary capacity to understand the nature and effect of the document you are signing.
    • Nil Rate band discretionary trust will
      These were common place pre-2007 when the law changed on the transferable nil rate band between spouses. There are still many other uses for them today, such as securing agricultural/business property relief, as a way of ring-fencing highly appreciating assets, care-fee planning, second marriages and control.
    • Ordinary Power of Attorney
      Ordinary Powers of Attorney are in place for a set period of time. They are usually set up in cases where the Donor is going to be abroad and/or unable to act for some other reason. Under the power they will appoint an attorney to have the authority to act on his or her behalf.
    • Probate
      The procedure after a person’s death, which confirms the validity of the Will and the authority of the executors to administer the estate.

      Whatever your legal query, Franklins Solicitors LLP have the know how to help guide you through the maze of life.