Legal Glossary


Here is a short glossary of the legal terms you might find useful when making your Will.

  • An administrator is someone who is appointed by law to settle your affairs if you die with no Will.
  • A beneficiary is anyone who receives something from a Will.
  • A bequest (legacy) is a gift left in a Will. It can be:
    • Residuary: a gift of money or assets left when other legacies and expenses have been paid – normally expressed as a part or percentage of the residue of your estate.
    • Pecuniary: a gift of a particular sum of money.
    • Specific: a defined object or property.
  • A codicil is an addition or amendment to an existing Will.
  • Your estate is the total value of everything your own at your death, less any outstanding commitments.
  • An executor/executrix is the person or people you choose to make your Will happen. They can be a relative, a friend or us the Solicitors.
  • Guardians are the people chosen by parents to look after their children in the event of the death.
  • Intestacy is the name for the situation that arises when someone dies without making a Will.
  • Inheritance tax is a 40 per cent tax deducted from estates with a value of more than £325k. Money left to your spouse or a charity is not taxed. If your spouse predeceases your and did not use up their full inheritance-tax-allowance, this will be added to your own at a rate prevailing at your death.
  • Probate is the legal process to establish whether you Will is valid. If not, an administrator is appointed.
  • A testator/testatrix is a person making a Will.
  • A trust is an arrangement you can make in your Will to administer part of your assets after your death

If you would like an appointment to discuss making a Will, please call us on 01246 471 900.