Legal Definitions

Below are definitions of some of the terms you will come across in your Will.

Attestation – The action of being a witness to or formally certifying something.

 

Beneficiary – Someone eligible to receive distributions from a Will.

 

Estate – Everything comprising an individual’s net worth, including all land and real estate, possessions, financial securities, cash and other assets that a person owns or has a controlling interest in.

 

Executor – An individual appointed to administer the estate of a deceased person. The executor’s main duty is to carry out the instructions to manage the affairs and wishes of the deceased person’s estate. The executor is appointed either by the testator of the Will (individual who makes the will) or by a court, in cases wherein there was no prior appointment.

 

Residuary Estate – The remainder of an estate after all the gifts have been given out, debts, tax and funeral costs have been taken care of.

 

Survivorship – The legal right to receive full title or ownership due to having survived another person.

 

Testament – A person’s will.

 

Trust – An arrangement whereby a person (a trustee) holds property as its nominal owner for the good of one or more beneficiaries.

 

Trustee – An individual person given control or powers of administration of property in trust with a legal obligation to administer it solely for the purposes specified.

 

Vested interest – An interest (usually in land or money held in trust) recognised as belonging to a particular person.

 

Will – A legal document containing instructions at to what should be done with one’s money and property after one’s death.

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