Glossary of legal terms for gifts in Wills to help horses

When taking advice, wherever possible, ask your legal advisor to explain any words that you do not understand.

Below are some common terms that are used in these matters.

Administrator
The person who deals with (or administers) the estate

Child
Generally in a Will or under the intestacy rules a child of the deceased includes adopted and illegitimate children, but not step-children (unless they are specifically mentioned)

Codicil
A separate document that contains an amendment to a Will. A person can make any number of Codicils

Estate
All the assets and property belonging to the person who has died

Executor
The person(s) appointed in the Will to deal with the estate of a person who has died. Executrix is the female version

Grant of Representation
A general term for any grant issued by the Probate Registry and therefore includes a Grant of Probate or Grant of Letters of Administration

Inheritance Tax
The tax that may have to be paid when the total estate of the person who has died is more that a certain amount

Intestate
A person who dies without having made a Will

Issue
All the direct descendants of a person (i.e. children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on)

Legacy
A gift of money, but the term is often used in respect of any specific gift

Letters of Administration
The document issued to the administrators by the Probate Registry to authorise them to deal with the estate of a person who has not made a Will

Letter of Wishes

A document in which you can state your preferences about how any gift you leave in your Will is to be used, or to say what you would like to happen to your personal belongings.  Unlike a Will this document is not legally binding upon either your Executors or the charity but should be stored with you Will for safe keeping.

Personal Chattels
These are personal belongings that have a statutory definition and include jewellery, furniture, pictures, books, cars etc (but not money, investments, property or business assets)

Personal Estate (Personalty)
All the investments and belongings of a person apart from land and buildings

Personal Representative
A general term for anybody who is entitled to administer an estate and therefore includes both administrators and executors

Probate of the Will
The document issued to executors by the Probate Registry to authorise them to deal with the estate of the person who has died

Proving the Will
Making the application for Probate to the Probate Registry

Probate Registry
A Court within the Family Division of the High Court that deals with probate matters. There are a number of District Registries who do this

Real Estate (Realty)
Land and buildings owned by a person

Residue
The amount that is left to share out after all debts, funeral costs, administration expenses and legacies have been paid

Specific bequests or specific legacies
Particular items which are gifted by the Will

Testator
A person who makes a Will. Testatrix is the female version

Will
The document in which you say what will happen to your possessions on your death