Glossary


Beneficiary
The person or institution who receives property designated by a will or trust

Decedent
The person who has died

Escheat
When the state receives property because no person or institution is legally able to

Estate
All the money and property owned by a particular person, esp. at death

Estate Planning
Estate planning is the process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of an estate during a person’s life

Executor
A person appointed by the now-deceased to carry out their wishes, including distributing the property of the estate

Intestate
A person who dies without making a will

Power of Attorney
An authorization to act as a person’s agent (as if they acted). A power of attorney can be specifically about one task, or general.

Testator
A person who makes a will

Trust
An alternative to a will. Trusts may provide an advantage over wills in terms of tax and complex distribution of assets. However, they require professional assistance and can be complicated to assemble. Trusts are certainly recommended for large estates.

Will
A will is a legal document that specifies what the will-maker wants done with her property when she dies. It allows you to provide for loved ones you leave behind and give your assets, including your art, to the people and organizations you think should have it.

Witness
A legally required person to watch a document being signed, to assure it is signed by the people it is said to be signed by