News and Events

Dying Matters Week: jargon buster

View profile for Claire Read
  • Posted
  • Author

The area of wills, trusts and probate is littered with difficult and technical jargon. At Birkett Long, we are aware how confusing the terminology can be and this blog explains some of the common words or abbreviations used. Here is a quick breakdown of some of the terms often used:

TESTATOR (male) or TESTATRIX (female): This is the person who makes the will.

EXECUTOR(male) or EXECUTRIX(female): This is the person named in the will whom the testator wishes to deal with his estate after his death. Where there is no will or a will with no executors appointed, an ADMINISTRATOR is appointed. Their duties are similar to an executor.  

A PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE: This is the generic term used to describe the person dealing with the estate.

GRANT OF PROBATE: This is a certificate from the court which shows that the will of the deceased has been registered at the court. It is evidence that the executor (the person named in the will) is entitled to deal with the deceased's affairs. If there is no will, the court will issue a GRANT OF LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION and the administrator's authority to act comes from the Grant.  

A LEGACY: This is a gift made by the will. The person who is entitled to the gift is called a LEGATEE.

TRUST: A trust is simply where you ask one person (a trustee) to look after an asset for someone else’s benefit (the beneficiary). There are various types of trust which can be used to protect assets or vulnerable beneficiaries.

LPA: A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is an important document, under which you can appoint a person (an attorney) to make decisions concerning your financial matters (property and affairs) and/or your personal welfare on your behalf. A LPA offers great reassurance to all age groups that their affairs will continue to be handled properly by someone they trust, in the event that they are unable to do so personally.

For advice in plain English, give us a call. Contact one of our wills, trusts and probate experts on 01245 453835 or alternatively you can email me at