Estate Terminology

Estate Planning Glossary

July 14th, 2011

The terminology used in Estate Planning can be confusing if you are not familiar with the wording used.  Estate lawyers/attorneys are equipped to help through the process, but it is also a good idea to be well-informed before hand.

Glossary of Estate and Probate Terminology


Administration: The time when the personal representative collects the deceased assets, pays debt and distributes the estate as arranged in will.

Administrator: The personal representative (if there is a will). The person assigned by the court to distribute the deceased assets if there is no will. Also known as the executor/executrix.

Affidavit: Sworn/written statement constructed under oath with witnesses.

Annual Exclusion: The amount of gifts allowed annually to be given to family members free of federal taxes.

Asset Protection: The act of protecting your estate during your life and after death from any legal or tax problems.

Attorney In Fact: The person assigned as agent under power of  attorney.


Beneficiary: The person(s) who receives the benefit property/estate or trust.

Bequest: To leave a gift or property as noted in a will.

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