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The management and distribution of the estate of the deceased; The authority to do so, granted by a court. Where no will had been made or a will was deemed to be invalid, Letters of Administration were issued by the court, appointing one or more people (usually next-of-kin) to administer the deceased's estate
Abbreviation of ‘Administration’
Abbreviation of 'Administrators'
Latin for 'Year of the Lord' - often abbreviated to ADAnno Domi
Latin for 'Year of the salvation' - a dating style used up until the eighteenth century which, like Anno Domini, dates years from the birth of Jesus.
An annual income or payment of a fixed amount from an investment of capital which is, usually, not repayable
A right belonging to a property (eg the right to fish in the river at the bottom of the garden or to draw water from a well)
Abbreviation of Appurtenances
Payments (or the amount of payments) in arrears
Anyone who receives a gift from a will.
To leave property in a will (strictly, personal estate) - see Devise
In the UK it generally refers to a specific legacy of a particular object (eg a specified painting rather than £500). Overseas it describes any type of legacy.
An ancient Anglo-Saxon custom by which the youngest son inherited the land
Property other than freehold. Distinguished into chattels - real (leasehold interests) and chattels - personal (personal movables eg plate, china, cattle)
In will or intestacy matters, includes the adopted and illegitimate children of the person who has died, but not their stepchildren - unless they are specifically mentioned. Legacies are often left in trust for children until they are 18 or 21 or 25, rather than the legal limit of 16.
Registered civil partners have the same legal rights as a spouse should their partner die intestate after December 2005.
A supplement to a will, usually defining additional bequests or making small changes.
A deputy; An officer representing a bishop
Delegation of authority; the act of issuing letters of administration.
A common-law spouse has no automatic legal rights to be an executor or beneficiary in English law, although a dependent partner who lived with the person who died for two years before their death may be able to claim a share of the estate.
Abbreviation of ‘Commission’
Property and/or land held, subject to the custom of a manor. When transferring the property the tenant first surrendered it to the lord of the manor who held the fee simple, and then the new tenant was admitted on payment of a fine (see Leasehold, Freehold)
A formal agreement under seal; To grant or promise by covenant
The condition of a married woman as legally under the protection of her husband (until the Married Woman's Property Act of 1882, married women could not, by law, own property; before this they and their possessions were considered as possessions of the husband - fortunately we live in more enlightened times)
A court or area of land attached to and including a dwelling-house; Messuage
An instrument (usually a document) comprehending the terms of a contract and the evidence of its due execution
Property left in a will; or the act of leaving property in a will (strictly, real estate) - see Bequeath
to whom property is left in a will (strictly, real estate)
To seize goods for debt, especially non-payment of rent
Goods seized for debt, especially non-payment of rent
Property to be enjoyed by a widow after her husband's death (see Jointure, Thirds); Property that a woman brings to her husband in marriage (also Dowry)
Latin meaning 'with child'; pregnant
Property, especially a landed property (see Real estate, Personal estate); A person's assets and liabilities taken collectively
A bar preventing one from making an allegation or a denial that contradicts what one has previously stated as the truth.
Performance of what is required to give validity to any legal instrument, as by signing and sealing; The discharge of a duty
The person(s) you choose to make your will happen. Usually you will have one or two (in England the maximum is four). Often this will be a younger relative or friend, and your solicitor or bank. Female form is Executrix.
Abbreviation of Executors
The position of being entitled to possession of any property at a future time by virtue of reversion, remainder or death
Inheritance of a freehold estate
Absolute inheritance, immediate and without restrictions
Inheritance of an entailed estate, which may descend only to a certain class of heirs e.g. eldest sons
Transfer of land from one person to another where the land is held subject to a fee or service
A sum of money paid on particular occasions e.g. on inheriting a copyhold property
A premium paid by a tenant for the renewal of a lease(see Fine, Premium)
A widow's right to dower out of her late husband's Copyhold lands (see Copyhold, Dower)
A property and/or land held free of duty except to the monarch (see Leasehold, Copyhold)
Person to whom property will come into possession upon the death of the current holder (heiress if female)
Any property that may be passed to an heir/heiress
Later in this document
Earlier in this document
Fine due to the Lord of the Manor (e.g. the best beast) upon the death of a tenant
Minor household goods of little value
Latin for 'especially' - often used to introduce the commending of the soul to God or the first bequest
To place ecclesiastical (church) property in the hands of a layman; Description of property so devolved.
A layman who holds possession of the lands of the church or an ecclesiastical living.
A written contract under seal (so called because the two documents had their edges cut or indented exactly alike so as to correspond with one another)
A 40% tax payable on estates over a certain threshold, currently £285,000 in 2006-07. Gifts to churches and charities reduce the value of an estate for inheritance tax purposes.
Having died without leaving a valid will
A list and valuation of all the deceased's movable goods (usually room by room) - more common before the mid 18th century
All living descendants - children, grandchildren etc. Legally adopted children and grandchildren are included, unless the will expressly excludes them. Does not include step-children
Two or more people who own a property together. The joint tenants do not own distinct shares in the property; if one of them dies, the others will continue to own the entire property. Only the last tenant to die can pass the property on in their will (see Tenants in Common)
Property (land or tenements) settled on a woman at marriage to be enjoyed after her husband's death; Like Dower
The ground, the buildings built on it, the subsoil below the ground, property fixed to the ground, and the airspace above the ground necessary for its ordinary use
Property and/or land held, subject to the terms of a contract, for a specified period of time (see Freehold, Copyhold)
A gift in a will. It can be:
- Specific legacy A definite object or property (eg a specific car, property or painting)
- Pecuniary legacy A gift of a specific sum of money
- Residual legacy A gift of (a share of) the money or assets left when other specific and pecuniary legacies and expenses have been paid - i.e. the remainder of the estate
- Life interest For example, 'to my wife for her use in her lifetime, then to charity'.
- Reversionary interest What happens when the life interest expires.
- Conditional interest A legacy which is dependent upon an event or specified criteria being met.
One to whom a lease is granted (see Lease)
One who grants a lease (see Lease)
The right to receive the income or benefit from a property or capital sum (but not the capital sum itself) for life. See also under Legacy above.
The district over which the court of the Lord of the manor had authority
Dwelling and offices (eg barns, sheds) together with the adjoining lands
A person under 18.
One of two parts; Half
The grant of an estate or other immovable property in fee as security for the payment of money, to be voided on the discharge of the debt or loan
In will or intestacy matters, the person entitled to the estate when someone dies intestate (without a will).
Spoken; A will declared orally before witnesses rather than written, usually by a testator on his/her deathbed
Person appointed to oversee the execution of a will - someone to give help and advice but with no legal powers
Property of the Testator, other than real estate
A general term for an administrator or executor.
A sum paid in addition to interest, wages etc. (see Fine, Foregift)
The practice (introduced by the Normans) of conferring land on the eldest son without subdivision, thereby leaving an estate intact for centuries
The legal process to establish your will is valid. If it is, the Probate Registry will give a Grant of Probate to the executors to authorise them to carry out the terms of the will. If it is not valid or the person died intestate, an administrator is appointed.
A court within the Family Division of the High Court which deals with probate and administration matters. The Principal Registry is in London and there are district registries in other cities and some large towns. It checks the validity of all wills and registers them in a central database. See www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/cms/wills
Making the application for probate to the Probate Registry.
An illegal enclosure or encroachment (on public or common land)
Rent at the maximum obtainable annual value
Land and/or buildings; A person's interest in land and tenements
Another term for widow; A widow who has not remarried
Interest in an estate to come into effect after a certain other event happens e.g. inheritance by heirs after the death of their widowed mother (similar to reversion)
The remainder of an estate after all legacies and bequests have been given and once all debts, taxes and expenses have been paid
Future possession of any property after some particular event (similar to remainder)
Annull, repeal or reverse; to legally cancel a will
A judgement about a disputed will given at the conclusion of litigation
Particular tangible items left as gifts in a will. See Legacy.
Family or generation; describes the way a bequest is to be divided among a person's issue. Most people want bequests to their children to be divided equally among the children. A per stirpes distribution does this, and it also governs what happens if any child has died. If a child has died, his (or her) share is divided among his issue if he has any issue. For example, presume that you have three children and that your will provides for a bequest to your children per stirpes. If all three children survive you, each would get one third of the property. If, however, one has died, his one third share would be divided among his children if he had any, or if he had no living issue his one third share would pass to his two siblings
Possessions that one has during one's lifetime (also referred to as worldly estate)
Two or more people who own a property together. Each has a distinct share and can pass it to someone on their death (see Joint Tenants)
A dwelling or habitation (or part of) occupied by one family
Legal document disposing of a person's personal estate, usually combined with a Will; A writing or decree appointing an executor
Person making and leaving a will (testatrix if female)
Where the money goes (your estate) if you have no next of kin and did not make a will - in reality it means HM Treasury.
Ecclesiastical law provided that at least one-third of a man's personal property should go to his widow (as her dower) and one-third should pass to his children (see Dower, Jointure)
In the Roman Catholic Church, either an office and mass for the dead on the thirtieth day after death or burial or a series of thirty requiem masses (i.e. one a day for thirty days).
An arrangement, usually established by a written document, to provide for the management and disposition of assets. It normally involves three parties: the person who establishes the trust (sometimes called a donor, grantor or trustor), one or more trustees and one or more beneficiaries
Person to whom the management of property is entrusted for the benefit of others
Present and absolute right; not conditional
Latin term meaning "namely"
Abbreviation of the latin videlicet meaning "namely" (also written 'Vizt')
Legal document disposing of a person's real estate
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Making a will is not the end of the process, the following events will trigger the need to review and amend your will:
- Having children or grandchildren
If you’re making a will or are involved in managing an estate the information here will help you deal with inheritance tax and apply for lasting power of attorney
Please consider the following questions carefully. Do you:
- Own or have an interest in a property abroad.
- Live in a country other than ENGLAND OR WALES?
- Have the power of appointment under a trust.
- Intend to exclude your spouse or a dependant child from your will
- Own a business, a firm, or shares in a private family owned company.
- Want to create a life interest or trust for someone in your will.
- Unsure about the suitability if a discretionary trust for your circumstance
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above please call us as you will require a complex will.
We understand that buying legal services and understanding what you need can be a complex process. With SSB, we aim to make everything clear. We aim to provide simple and straightforward legal advice that doesn't cost the earth. When you have a complex problem, we have the expertise to help, when it's simple, we'll say so. This is the SSB approach.
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