Definition of Terms

Having taken the first step and made your appointment with City and Country Financial Services to get your Will written, you will need to understand the terminology or key words that are used.

BENEFICIARY: A person who will benefit or receive something under a Will.

CODICIL: A written statement made by a testator (the person making a Will) which alters the Will in some way. It is a legal document which must be signed and witnessed in the same way as a Will and kept as one with the original Will. It is wiser to completely rewrite a Will rather than use a codicil to change it

Same sex couples who have been through a civil ceremony and are registered under the Civil Partnership Act 2004.

COHABITEES: Two people living together in an unmarried state

DOMICILE: Your country of origin or the country you intend to reside in permanently or indefinitely.

ESTATE: The total of the assets (property, money and all other possessions) a person leaves behind on death.

EXECUTION: The act of signing a Will.

EXECUTOR: A person or persons who distribute the estate in accordance with a Will after the death of the testator (the person who made the Will).
A female executor may be called an executrix.
A beneficiary under a Will can be appointed as executor/executrix of the same Will.

INTESTATE/INTESTACY: If a person dies without making a Will or leaves a Will which is wholly or partly invalid then that person is said to have died completely or partially intestate.

LAY EXECUTOR: A person selected as an Executor who is not entitled to charge for those services.

MINOR: A male or female under the age of 18 years.

PROBATE: is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person, specifically resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under the valid will. Once a will has been probated by the court, everyone can rely on its authenticity. Probate protects the instructions of the deceased, confirms the Executor as the personal representative of the estate, protects the interests of family members who may have claims against the estate, and protects the Executor against claims and law suits.

SPOUSE: Refers to heterosexual married couples only.

TESTATOR: The person making the Will. A female testator may be called a testatrix.

VALID: leans legally effective.

WILL: A document (or collection of documents) by which a person (the testator/testatrix) disposes of his or her estate. It takes effect on1v oil the death of the testator/testatrix.

WITNESS/ATTESTING WITNESS: There must be two witnesses to you signing your Will -no more or no less than two witnesses. They are required to sign in the presence of each other and in the presence of the testator/testatrix – after they have seen the testator /testatrix sign. They sign at the foot or end of a Will. A witness to a Will does not have to be a JP (Justice of the Peace).