Legal jargon can be confusing to many people. Below are a few of the important estate and trust terms you should be familiar with:
- Executor. An executor is the person named in a will to serve as the administrator of the estate of the deceased. The executors primary duty is to carry out the wishes of the deceased as expressed in the will.
- Trustee. The party appointed by the trust document to hold the trust assets for the benefit of other parties (the beneficiaries), is called the trustee. The trustee has a fiduciary obligation to the beneficiaries and to abide by the terms of the trust document.
- Conservator. A conservator is a party appointed through a judicial proceeding to serve and care for infirm or developmentally disabled adults. A conservator may have authority over the person, over the estate and finances, or over both the person and the estate.
- Power of attorney. A power of attorney document allows an individual (the principal) to appoint another party (the agent) to act on his/her behalf. The power of attorney can be general or limited. It can also be effective immediately or contingent upon a certain event occurring (such as disability of the principal).
- Settlor. The person who creates a trust is referred to as the settlor.
- Will. A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows individuals to set forth how their estate should be handled upon their death. A will allows you to designate who should inherit your real property and other assets.
- Trust. There are several different types of trusts that can serve a variety of purposes. In general, however, a trust is a legal document that allows individuals to distribute their assets during their lives or after their death. A trust holds your assets for the benefit of others. It can eliminate the need for a probate action, serve to protect your property from certain creditors and it may provide substantial tax benefits.
- Beneficiary designation. This is a person who inherits specific assets outside probate or trust administration. It is most commonly used to distribute life insurance proceeds.
If you have questions regarding will, trusts or estate planning matters, call The Legacy Lawyers for the answers. We provide the advice and counsel you deserve, that are guaranteed to work when you need it most. Call now for a no-cost consultation: (714) 963-7543