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Wills and Trusts: Study Aids and Other Materials

Resource relating to wills, trusts, estates, and estate planning for law students, bar examinees, and other researchers.


Useful Definitions

AdministratorA person appointed to administer an intestate decedent's estate.

BeneficiaryA person for whose benefit property is held in trust; especially, one designated to benefit from an appointment, disposition, or assignment (as in a will, insurance policy, etc.), or to receive something as a result of a legal arrangement or instrument.

DecedentA dead person, especially one who has died recently.

DeviseThe act of giving property by will. Although this term traditionally referred to gifts of real property—and in British usage the term is still confined to real property—in American usage the term has been considerably broadened.

ExecutorA person named by a testator to carry out the provisions in the testator's will.

IntestateOf or relating to a person who has died without a valid will.

LegacyA gift by will, esp. of personal property and often of money.

ProbateThe judicial procedure by which a testamentary document is established to be a valid will; the proving of a will to the satisfaction of the court.

Testator/testatrixA person who has made a will; especially, a person who dies leaving a will.

TrustThe right, enforceable solely in equity, to the beneficial enjoyment of property to which another person holds the legal title; a property interest held by one person (the trustee) at the request of another (the settlor) for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary).

WillThe legal expression of an individual's wishes about the disposition of his or her property after death; especially, a document by which a person directs his or her estate to be distributed upon death .

All definitions come from Black’s Law Dictionary

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