Administrator - the person entitled at law to administer your Estate if you die without a Will (that is, Intestate). 

Bequest - a generic term used to cover both legacies and devises. 

Beneficiary - a generic term for any person who benefits under a Will. 

Codicil - a formal amendment to a Will. Whilst Codicil may be used it is best practice to write a new Will to save confusion. 

Devise - a gift of real or immovable property such as land, houses or flats in a Will. 

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

Executor - the person or body responsible for collecting in the deceased's assets, paying any taxes, and distributing the Estate in accordance with the Will. The female form is Executrix.


Guardian - person appointed by the Will to take over such parental rights as you may have over any child of yours under 18 at your death. 

Intestacy/Intestate - dying without having made a Will. The law then states how your Estate is distributed. usually to close relatives. 

Legacy - gift of personal or moveable property (including cash, shares etc.) in a Will. Someone who receives a legacy is a legatee. 

Letters of Administration - the application to court after someone dies without a Will to prove that the person applying is entitled to administer the Estate and perhaps take a share of it. 

Probate - the application to court after someone dies to prove the Will is valid and which results in authority being granted to the Executors via a Grant of Probate after any tax due is paid. 

Residuary estate - everything you own at the time of your death less any legacies or devises you have made, your debts, funeral expenses and costs of winding up your Estate. 

Testamentary expenses - the legal costs of winding up your Estate. 

Testator - The person making a Will (the female form is testatrix). 

Trust - arrangement by which a person (the Trustee) holds legal ownership of money or property for the benefit of another person. 

Trustee - a person to whom an Estate is conveyed on trust for another. 

Will - a document conforming to certain legal requirements that sets out what you want to happen to your property and the rest of your Estate upon death.