If you are new to Wills or not exposed to legal terms, you might be confused of the different legal jargon used for Will writing. Here are simple explanations to help the laymen understand them. Read the definitions here and you will be able to understand these terms when preparing your Will.
Administrators – Those appointed to administer an estate where there is no Will or no Executor. A general term for both executors or administrators is personal representative.
Beneficiary - An individual or organisation named in the Will, who benefits from your Will
Codicil – A document making minor changes to your Will. It must be signed and witnessed in the same way as your Will
Chattels - Tangible assets other than immovable property
Estate – Everything that belongs to you, and owed to you, at the time of your death
Executor (female executrix) – someone who will carry out the instructions in your Will. Their duties include getting the grant of probate, collection of assets, calculate and pay income tax, debts and finally to distribute your assets according to your Will. The executor holds legal title to your assets during the probate process
Grant of Probate – a grant from the court confirming the appointment of the executor/s named in the Will, and that the Will has been proven and registered in court.
Guardian - people you nominate to take care of any minor children, in case both you or your spouse die at the same time
Immovable Property – assets that cannot be moved physically, i.e. land and buildings
Intestacy – a person who dies without making a valid Will is said to die intestate
Letters of Administration with Will Annexed – where there is a Will, but where the executors appointed has either passed away, is unwilling or unable to act, or no executor was named at all, then letters of administration with Will annexed must be obtained. The procedure is very similar to obtaining letters of administration.
Testator - the person making the Will.
Trustee - a person or entity who holds property on behalf of others, usually for the beneficiaries
Will - a document that simply states your last instructions. Sometimes also called Will and Testament
That’s basically all the definitions you’ll need when writing a will.