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Making Sense Out of Dollars

Will It?

Joel Lerner, Columnist
Posted 3/26/21

Part 12 of 12

What Terminology Should I Be Aware Of Regarding Wills?

Administrator - person appointed or who petitions to administer an estate in an intestate succession.

Beneficiary - …

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Making Sense Out of Dollars

Will It?

Posted

Part 12 of 12

What Terminology Should I Be Aware Of Regarding Wills?

Administrator - person appointed or who petitions to administer an estate in an intestate succession.

Beneficiary - anyone receiving a gift or benefiting from a trust

Bequest - testamentary gift of personal property, traditionally other than money.

Codicil - (1) amendment to a will; (2) a will that modifies or partially revokes an existing or earlier will.

Decedent - the deceased (U.S. term)

Distribution - succession to personal property.

Executor/executrix or personal representative [PR] - person named to administer the estate, generally subject to the supervision of the probate court, in accordance with the testator’s wishes in the will. In most cases, the testator will nominate an executor/PR in the will unless that person is unable or unwilling to serve. In some cases, a literary executor may be appointed to manage a literary estate.

Inheritor - a beneficiary in a succession, testate or intestate.

Intestate - person who has not created a will, or who does not have a valid will at the time of death.

Legacy - testamentary gift of personal property, traditionally of money. Note: historically, a legacy has referred to either a gift of real property or personal property.

Probate - legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person.

Testate - person who dies having created a will before death.

Testator - person who executes or signs a will; that is, the person whose will it is. The antiquated English term of Testatrix was used to refer to a female and is still in use in the US.

It’s a Wrap

• Financial planning is not complete without making a will, in writing and prop­erly witnessed

• Consult an attorney to prepare a will; don’t “dolt yourself”

• The person who carries out the instructions in your will is the executor.

• Spouses should have interlocking or reciprocal wills drawn at the same time.

• Allot your estate by percentages, rather than by fixed-dollar figures, because your assets may increase or decrease dramatically before you die.

• If a beneficiary in your will (including your spouse) enters a nursing home, have your attorney remove his or her name from the will at once. Otherwise, your assets may be seized as payment immediately upon your death.

• Assets with a designated beneficiary, such as retirement plans and insurance policies, will pass directly to that person upon your death.

• Dying without a will (intestate) causes enormous complications that vary by state. Yet over 60 percent of Americans will die without one.

• An ethical will informs your family of your values, not your valuables.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

Nothing is “Impossible”. The word itself says “I’m possible”.

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