Administrator: someone who is appointed to arrange a person’s affairs if they leave no will.
Beneficiary: an individual or organisation who receives a gift in a will.
Codicil: a document which enables a simple update or alteration to an existing will.
Chattels and moveables: personal possessions, including furniture and car.
Estate: all a person’s possessions at the time of their death, including money and property.
Executor: the person appointed to carry out the instructions in a will.
Intestate: you are intestate if you die without making a will.
Legacy: a gift left to a person or organisation in a will.
Life interest: a two stage legacy, where the first beneficiary is given the use of an asset (e.g. a house) during their lifetime. After their death the asset passes to the second beneficiary.
Pecuniary legacy: a gift of a fixed amount of money.
Probate: the legal procedure to decide whether someone’s left a valid will.
Residue: the sum left from an estate when all debts, charges and gifts are deducted.
Residuary legacy: a gift consisting of the residue or part of the residue of an estate. This is a particularly popular way to leave a gift to a charity.
Specific legacy: a gift of a particular item eg jewellery.
Testator (male) or testatrix (female): the person who is making the will.