Wills glossary of terms

03 May 2024

Beneficiary: a person who is given a gift or other benefit under a will. 

Executor: a person or organisation appointed by a testator in a will to carry out the provisions of the will. 

Estate: all property and possessions owned by a person, whether solely or with one or more other persons. 

Guardian: a person who has primary responsibility for the general welfare of a minor, even if the person does not have day-to-day custody and control of that child. 

Gift/bequest: something that is given to a beneficiary under a will. For example, a will may include gifts of money, real estate or personal effects (such as jewellery). 

Minor beneficiaries: any beneficiaries written into the will who may be under 18 at the time of your death.​ 

Residuary estate: what is left of a deceased person’s property and possessions after funeral and administration expenses, debts and other liabilities have been paid and specific gifts have been distributed. 

Intestate: a person who dies either without having left a valid will or leaving a will that doesn’t give away the whole of their property. 

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