Ison Harrison Wills - Glossary of Terms

Ison Harrison

Our solicitors will always speak to you in plain English, but as certain legal terms are unavoidable and can become confusing, please see below for definitions of key terms:

Attorneys - the people appointed to act for you under a Lasting Power of Attorney

Beneficiaries – the people who are left any money, property or a share of the estate in the will of the Testator.

Family Trust Wills – mirror wills whereby the first to die leaves his or her share of the matrimonial home to the survivor “on trust for life”. This means that if the survivor goes into a Nursing Home the first to die’s half of the home will normally be protected from nursing home fees.

Lasting Power of Attorney (Property and Affairs) – a document whereby you can choose who would deal with your affairs and property typically if you were to become mentally incapable of managing your affairs.   

Mirror Wills – wills made by married couples, those in registered Civil Partnerships or cohabiting couples where typically the first person to die leaves everything to the survivor and the survivor then leaves their estate to the chosen beneficiaries. Both wills will have the same beneficiaries on second death as only one of the Testators will die second. It would always be open to the survivor to change his or her will after the first person dies.

Single Will – a will made by a single person disposing of their estate.

Severance of Tenancy – this allows a couple to leave their  respective shares of a house in accordance with their wills as tenants in common rather than by survivorship which happens if they are joint tenants. It is necessary to sever the tenancy if a Family Trust Will is required.

Testator/s – the will-maker/s.

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