Administrator: The person who has similar duties to those of an executor but for estates where there’s no will or executor, or where the named executor is unable or unwilling to act.
Beneficiary: A person or organisation to whom you leave something in your Will.
Bequest: Official term for a gift that you leave to a person or organisation in your Will. There are different types of bequests, but the main ones are residuary, pecuniary and specific bequests.
Residuary bequest: A gift made of the remainder of your estate after all other gifts have been handed out and debts paid. To do this you may leave the total of the remainder or a percentage.
Pecuniary bequest: A gift made of a fixed sum of money. Remember that the value of a pecuniary gift will decrease over time, as the cost of living increases.
Specific bequest: A particular named item left as a gift in your Will. For example, a piece of jewellery, furniture or a painting.
Codicil: A document used to change a Will that has already been made.
Conditional legacy: Any Will which provides a “fallback” situation in case of the early death of one or all of the beneficiaries.
Estate: The total sum of your personal possessions, property and money once all your debts have been paid off.
Executor: The people you appoint to ensure your final wishes are carried out. These can be professionals, friends, family members, or a mixture of both.
Grant of probate: A document issued by the Court confirming both the validity of a Will and the executor’s right to administer the Estate.
Intestate: This is the name given to a person who dies without making a Will. Certain relations can apply for your Estate. If you have none, your money will go to the Crown.
Issue: Your children, their children and so on down the family line.
Joint property: Under a joint tenancy the owners own the whole property together, and it passes to the survivor(s) following a death. Under tenancy-in-common, a person’s share of the property passes to others under the terms of the Will or according to the rules of intestacy.
Legacy: A legacy is just another word for a gift left in your Will.
Legitime: The right under Jersey Succession Law for a surviving husband/wife or child to claim a share in the personal estate which was not given to them under the Will of their deceased spouse/parent.
Letters of administration: Issued instead of a grant of probate by the Court to an administrator when there is no Will.
Life interest: Lifetime gift, such as giving the right to live in a property.
Mirror will: A Will that contains almost identical terms to yours. Used by spouses or partners where the beneficiaries are the same.
Probate: When somebody passes away their executors will usually need to apply for probate – or official proof of a Will’s validity. Probate must be applied for by the executors. Once granted by the Royal Court the executors can distribute the gifts that have been left, according to your wishes.
Residue: What is left of your estate after any outstanding debts have been paid off and gifts distributed to beneficiaries.
Testator: The name given to a person who has made a Will.
Trust: A written arrangement whereby an appointed trustee is given money or assets to hold and manage for the benefit of those defined in the deed or Will in which the trust was created.
Trustee: Individuals or an organisation named in a trust deed to take responsibility of the trust assets and manage them.
Will: A list of instructions telling your executors what to do with your effects when you die.