Glossary of terms

Residuary gift – this type of gift consists of the remaining contents of your assets once all other gifts and debts are paid. This can be the full amount or a specified percentage of what is left.


Pecuniary gift – if you specify a fixed sum for your gift in your Will, this is known as a pecuniary legacy. The value of these decrease over time with inflation, so it worth revisiting to ensure your gift is the correct value.


Specific gift – this type of gift consists of the giving of a specific item such as a piece of jewellery. The item may not have financial value but may have great sentimental value.


Codicil – for those with an existing and legal Will, a Codicil allows you to make small changes to it. It must be signed and witnessed as with your Will and it is best to discuss a Codicil with your solicitor to ensure it doesn’t invalidate your Will.


Inheritance Tax – this is a tax set by the government for assets belonging to a deceased person. If the combined value of your possessions and assets is more than £325,000 you will have Inheritance tax applied.


Beneficiary – If you name a person or organisation in your Will, they will be referred to as a beneficiary.


Estate – This is a term used when referring to all of the assets you own, minus the value of any debts you owe.


Intestate – When a person dies without a Will or without a valid Will.


Next of kin – your closest living relative or relatives are referred to as your next of kin.


Executor – is a legal term referring to a person named by the maker of a Will to carry out the instructions of the Will.

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