Free Will Writing - Jargon Buster
We understand that sometimes it seems that free will will writing can have a language all of it’s own. This handy jargon buster section will explain all the complicated terminology in easy to understand plain english.
This is a term used for an executor of will when you don’t have a will at the time of your death. Known as an administrator or administrators, they are the people who are in charge of distributing your will, paying any fee’s, taxes and wrapping up your affairs. The laws of Intestacy will determine who the administrators are and they basically act as an executor of will.
Your assets are basically anything you own which has a monetary value and can therefore be left in your will.
The most common examples are property, land, investments, stocks & shares, valuable family heirlooms, savings, car etc.
This is a person or organisation who you have included in your free online will to receive all or part of your estate or gift. The most common examples are siblings, relatives, children, charity etc.
This is where a beneficiary is left money, property, gifts etc in a will. For example ‘My Grandad bequeathed me his antique gold watch’.
A gift, money or personal property in a will. This is also sometimes known as a benefit.
Personal belongings such as cars, furniture, antiques, jewelry etc.
A legal document which you would have to fill in should you wish to make any minor changes to your will. The same requirements apply with your will in that it must be signed dated and witnesses. If you are making any changes and are unsure how this will effect your will then we would recommend creating a new free online will.
This is all of your assets which you solely own when you die such as property, cars, bank accounts, investments, jewelry etc. Most items which are joint owned will automatically pass on to the other joint owner.
Person or persons you have nominated to handle the administration of your estate. This role carries great responsibility and liabilities and because of this many people do not want the responsibilities of being the executor of a will.
Please click the following link for further details regarding the Executor of a will duties.
Grant of Probate
A legal document given by the Probate Registry to the Executor of will granting them the legal authority to administer the deceased estate. This basically means that the probate service have confirmed that the will is legal so then give the executor permission to execute the will.
During your free will writing you can nominate a Guardian which is a person nominated in a will to look after any children should the parents die.
When you die, your estate is liable for inheritance tax. The current 2010/2011 Inheritance tax allowance is £325,000 per individual or £650,000 for married couples / civil partnerships. This allowance is called the ‘Nil rate band’ and if the value of your estate exceeds this amount when you die then it is liable to a 40% inheritance tax charge on the amount over your allowance.
For example, say your estate is worth £525,000 at time of death. The inheritance due will be £80,000. This is 40% of the £200,000 value over the £325,00 allowance.
If you do not have a valid will in place when you die then you are said to have died ‘Intestate’. When this happens, the state will divide and distribute your estate according to the ‘Rules of Intestacy’.
This is where property is own on a joint basis and should you die, then your share of the property will automatically pass on to the remaining (surviving) co-owners. Your share of the property cannot be included in your will. Should you wish to put your share of your property into your will you need to own it on a ‘Tenants in Common’ basis.
This is a term given to a gift in your will.
Gifts which are of a specific nominal amount. For example, you want to leave your Aunty Molly £5,000.
See ‘Grant of Probate’ above.
This is what remains of a persons estate after all the inheritance, gifts, legacies, funeral expenses, debts, tax, fee’s etc have been paid. If there is a residuary beneficiary named on the will then they will receive this residue amount.
When writing a will yourself, you will include beneficiaries. Should a beneficiary of you will die before you then this is the alternative beneficiary.
When assets are held in joint ownership and one owner dies, the assets are then automatically passed on to the surviving owner by survivorship.
Tenants in Common
This is where property is own on a joint basis but you can place your share of the property in your will and leave it to whoever you want. Unlike ‘Joint Tenants’, your share of the property will not automatically pass on to the remaining joint owner(s).
Testator (Testatrix if female)
The person who is writing the will.
This is a legal agreement where a persons assets (property / money) are held in trust for a named beneficiary (this is usually children).
The person who is responsible for the administrating of the trust. They must look after the trust (property, money, investments etc) on behalf of a beneficiary and act in what is known as ‘in good faith’ where they must be independent and offer an unbiased service and advice. We always recommend seeking independent financial advice from a chartered independent financial advisor for this role.
Someone who witnesses the signing of the will. UK law states that two witnesses must be present to witness the person making the will (Testator) signing the will and then then witness each other signing the will. The Testator must also witness the witnesses signing the will.
Please note that a Beneficiary or relative of a Beneficiary cannot act as a witness as witnesses are legally unable to receive gifts or inheritance from the will.