Wills: the jargon

This October we will be sharing a few blog posts about Wills and some local charities will be Guest Blogging to share how legacies from Wills benefit them.

To kick us off we're starting with an explanation of some of the terminology around Wills.

Will A document which you make in your lifetime which says what you want to happen to your assets when you have died.

Executor The person or people appointed in a Will to do what the Will says. They can sell or transfer your assets and close bank accounts and then they will give your things and money to the people the Will tells them to.

Sometimes a female Executor is called an Executrix.

Mirror Wills

Wills made by two people who are working together to leave their joint assets in a certain way, but they are two completely separate documents.

Mutual Wills

Wills made by two separate people who bind each other into agreeing not to change their Wills unless they both agree to in the future.

Witness The law says that a Willis only valid if two people witness the signature of the person who is making it. There are lots of rules about how the Will should be witnessed.

Testator The person who has made the Will.

Testamentary Guardian Someone appointed to look after your children if you die while they are still minors and they don’t have anyone else with Parental Responsibility.

Beneficiary Anyone who ‘benefits’ or receives anything from a Will.

Chattels A legal definition of your personal possessions which includes your furniture, jewellery, car most other physical things which you own. You can gift these individually or as a group of items.

Pecuniary Legacy A gift of money, rather than a gift of a particular thing.

Residuary Estate Any assets left over once all specific gifts and sums of money have been paid out. There should always be a clause in a Will saying who will receive this.

For more information about making or reviewing your Will, please contact Carolyn on the details below.

Carolyn Snellgrove

Nelson Myatt Solicitors LLP

01492 588200


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