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This is an individual or corporation appointed to administer a deceased person’s estate. If the deceased dies without a will, an administrator is appointed by the Court. Alternatively, an administrator is appointed if the executor of a will dies or is unable to act as executor.


An appointer is a person with the power to appoint and remove the trustee of a trust.


An attorney of a trust is granted the power to act on behalf of another. Other terms such as grantee or donee may be used.



A beneficiary is a person or company who receives a benefit under the will or trust.


Barristers are also lawyers. They are called upon by solicitors when the matter at hand is going to trial. The barrister is the person who will represent you in court and prepare the matter for trial.



A codicil is a supplementary document that is created to amend an existing will.



A donee of a trust is granted the power to act on behalf of another. Other terms such as grantee or attorney may be used.


A person who grants a power of attorney is referred to as the donor. Other terms used to refer to this person are grantor or principal.


Enduring Guardian

An enduring guardian is a person appointed to make lifestyle, health and medical decisions for someone who is not capable of doing this themselves.

Enduring Power of Attorney

This is a legal document giving a person or trustee organisation the authority to manage the principal’s financial affairs and assets. An enduring power of attorney will continue to have effect after the principal loses mental capacity.


An estate refers to all of the assets owned by a deceased person.

Estate Plan

An estate plan includes your will and other legal documents that determine how you want your assets distributed after your death. Estate planning ensures that tax paid by your heirs is minimised, and they receive assets in the most financially efficient way.


An executor of a will is an individual or trustee company appointed by the testator to carry out the directions in the will.



A guardian is a person authorised to make personal and lifestyle decisions on behalf of a person with a decision making disability.


Informal Will

An informal will is a document which purports to outline the testamentary intentions of a deceased person, however has not been executed in conformity with the formal requirements for a valid will.


Inheritance refers to the assets that an individual or organisation receives through a will once the deceased passes. This can include real estate or shares.

Inter vivos

This a legal term referring to a transfer made during a person’s lifetime. This is in contrast to a testamentary transfer, which takes effect on death.


This refers to the condition of the estate of a person who dies without leaving a valid will.


Joint Tenants

This refers to one form of joint ownership of property (see also Tenants in Common). In a joint tenancy arrangement, you are purchasing property with another so that you both jointly hold the property, with equal ownership and interest. Upon the death of one joint tenant, the interests of the property passes to the surviving joint tenant.



A legacy refers to a gift of cash in a will.

Letters of Administration

This is a Court order which allows the estate to be administered in circumstances where the person has died interstate or the deceased left a will with no executor to apply for a grant of probate.



A person under the age of 18 years.


Non Estate Assets

These are assets which pass automatically to your heirs and do not need to go through the probate process after you die. Non estate assets include jointly owned property and life insurance.



A person who grants a power of attorney. Also referred to as the grantor or donor.


This refers to the judicial process of authenticating a last will and testament of the deceased. An executor of a will must obtain a Grant of Probate in order to administer the estate.



The remainderman is the person or people entitled to inherit an asset upon the termination of a life estate. Once the life tenant dies, ownership of the asset moves to the remainderman.

Residuary Estate

The residue of a deceased person’s estate is what is left over after paying all expenses in connection with the estate. This includes the payment of funeral costs, administration costs and the distribution of any gifts made under the will.


Tenants in Common

This refers to one form of joint ownership (see also Joint Tenants). In this type of arrangement, you are purchasing property with another as tenants in common, so that each of you will own a specified share in the property. For example, one party owns 40% and the other party owns 60%. Upon the death of one tenant in common, that person’s share in the property will be passed onto their beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the deceased’s will.

Testamentary Trust

A testamentary trust is created by a will which comes into effect upon the death of the testator.


A testator is a man who makes a will. A testatrix is a female who makes a will.


A trust is a legal arrangement where assets are held on behalf of another. There are many types of trusts, including an inter vivos trust and testamentary trust.


A trustee is a person who holds assets on behalf of another



A will is a legal document outlining how a person wishes to distribute their assets amongst beneficiaries upon their death.

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