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Glossary

Administrators – the people appointed to act for you when a will has not been made.

Beneficiary – an individual or organisation that is to receive something from your will.

Codicil – a change or addition made to an existing will.

Chattels and Movables – your furniture, car and personal possessions.

Deed of Variation – a document by which, for two years from the date of death, the beneficiaries under a will, or the relatives of someone who dies intestate, can agree to change the way in which the deceased’s estate is distributed.

Domicile – you are domiciled in the country of your birth or the country of birth of your parents unless you have given up your original domicile by living permanently in another country and have broken all ties with your original country of domicile. If this has occurred, you may acquire the domicile of the country in which you now live.

Estate – everything you own at the time of your death.

Executor(s) – the person or persons appointed by you to look after your affairs and make sure the wishes expressed in your will are carried out.

Grants of representation – this includes grants of probate (when there is a will) and grants or letters of administration (when there is no will). Often people just refer to probate even if there is no will.

Intestate and Intestacy – if you die without having made a valid will, the law declares you to be intestate and decides how your possessions should be shared out. Intestacy is the name for this situation.

Legacy – a specific item or sum of money left in a will.

Personal Representatives (PRs) – this means executors or administrators. If there is more than one personal representative they must work together to decide matters between them. Disagreements between personal representatives can cause expensive delays.

Probate – the legal procedure to establish Executors who will administer your Estate.

Residue – the sum that is left from your Estate when all debts, costs and gifts have been deducted.

Settlor – a person who places assets into a trust.

Testator or Testatrix – the person making the will – that is you, if it is your will.

Trustee
– the word for an executor who has to look after any part of your estate that is subject to continuing trust.

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