If a Will has not been made, a person will be set by the Court to deal with the deceased's estate. This will be the Administrator.


Something you own - usually of value.


The person appointed by you under a Power of Attorney. This person is responsible for acting on your behalf.


Someone named in your Will as receiving part of your estate.


A gift of an item left to someone in your Will.


Items of personal property which are movable, excluding those for business purposes, money, or securities for money.


An official document which details any changes to a Will.

Court of Protection

This is where any Deputies are considered and appointed.


Also known as the Government or State.


The person appointed by the Court to act on your behalf, in the case where you have not got a Power of Attorney, and no longer have the mental capacity to prepare one.


A person making a Lasting Power of Attorney


Everything you own, including debts.


The person/people named in your Will and responsible for carrying out your wishes, paying bills & taxes, and distributing your estate.

Grant of Probate

The Executor of a Will may need to apply for a Grant of Probate in order to gain the authority to deal with the deceased's estate.


Those appointed to care for, and legally be responsible for any minor children under the age of 18.


Her Majesty's Land Registry. This is where all ownership of land and property is registered in England & Wales.


Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. The UK's tax, payments and customs authority (the taxman).

Inheritance Tax (IHT)

This is payable at 40% on the proportion of an estate that exceeds the Nil Rate Band (currently £325,000).


Dying without a Will or a valid Will.


Natural children, grandchildren and other more remote descendants.

Joint Tenants

Where two or more people own something together, jointly, not any particular part of it. If one passes away, the other has the property entirely.


A money gift left in your Will.

Letters of Administration

This is Legal documentation which is issued when a person dies without a Will.

Mental Capacity

Of sound mind, having the ability to make your own decisions.

Nil Rate Band

The amount you can leave free of Inheritance Tax. This sum is currently £325,000 each or up to £650,000 for a married couple.


The Office of the Public Guardian. This is where Powers of Attorney are registered.


The legal process to validate a Will. This is done by the Probate Registry.


The bulk of your estate that is left after debts, taxes and gifts have been made.


Cancellation of a Will by destruction, written revocation, new Will or order of the Court.


A person setting up a Trust and placing assets into the Trust.


Your Husband or Wife. This also applies to Civil Partners.


This relates to a natural branch of your family.

Tenants in Common

Where two or more people own something in specific shares. If the shares are not passed on in their Will, the surviving tenant will not necessarily receive the deceased's share.

Testamentary Capacity

Where someone has the mental ability to make a Will.


A person making a Will.


Those responsible for setting up, managing and distributing any Trusts set up from your Will, or set up during your lifetime.


Inheriting. In England & Wales the minimum age to vest/inherit is 18.


An independant person to witness your signature. In the United Kingdom, two witness signatures are required and they must be over the age of 18.