Glossary of Terms for Last Will & Testament | Texas

Glossary of Terms

  • Estate: A person’s assets or liabilities left at the time of his or her death
  • Probate: The judicial process where a will is reviewed, and a determination is made as to the will’s validity and authenticity.
  • Intestate: Passing away without a legal will.
  • Testator: Someone who writes and properly executes a will.
  • Descendent: A person’s lineal offspring through direct bloodline or adoption, including children, grandchildren, etc.; also known as “issue,” descendants do not include siblings or parents.
  • Beneficiary: A person or entity designated under a will or trust to receive funds or property.
  • Bequeath: To leave or “give” property upon death.
  • Bequest: A gift of an item of personal property made at death.
  • Bond: protects inheritors from loss that the administrator or executor of the estate might cause.
  • Custodian: The person named to manage property inherited by a minor.
  • Devise: A gift of real estate left at death.
  • Devisee: Someone who inherits real estate through a will.
  • Executor/Administrator: The person named in a will to distribute and wind up the affairs of a person who has passed away.
  • Gift and Estate Tax: A tax on large transfers of property.
  • Grantor/Settlor: A person who creates a trust.
  • Heir: A person who inherits property according to state law, when the deceased dies intestate, i.e., without a will.
  • Lapse: when a gift in a will cannot be given to the intended recipient because he or she has died before  the person who made the will, and the will does not say what should happen to the gift.
  • Intangible Property: Assets that can’t be physically touched, for example stocks or other ownership interests.
  • Issue: Direct descendants, including children, grandchildren, etc. Spouses, brothers, sisters, parents, and other relatives are not issue.
  • Legacy: A gift of personal property left at death.
  • Legatee: Someone who inherits personal property.
  • Personal Property: All possessions and property assets except for real property.
  • Personal Property Memorandum: A written statement, referenced in a Will that is used to dispose of items of tangible personal property that are not specifically disposed of by the Will.
  • Personal Representative: Another name for the executor or administrator of an estate.
  • Per Capita: A way of dividing property among the descendants of a deceased heir beneficiary.
  • Per Stirpes/Right of Representation: The method of dividing property to the children or later descendants of a deceased beneficiary or heir, to inherit the deceased person’s share of an estate
  • Real Property: Land and things permanently attached to it, such as houses.
  • Residuary Estate: All property subject to a will that isn’t specifically given away in the will.
  • Revocable Trust: A trust that the settlor can revoke at any time during his or her lifetime.
  • Self Proving (self-proved) Will: A Will having an attached affidavit signed by a notary public that shows the Will was properly signed and witnessed, to avoid probate.
  • Successor Trustee: Someone who takes over as trustee of a trust if the original trustee can no longer serve.
  • Testamentary Trust: A trust created in the body of a will.
  • Trustee: Someone who is named by the deceased to have the legal authority over the assets in a trust.
  • Witness: A person who may serve as a witness.
  • Advance Directive: A written statement of a person's wishes regarding medical treatment, made to ensure those wishes are carried out should the person be unable to communicate them to a doctor. An Advance Directive is also known as a Living Will.

Gift A Will Promise And Guarantee

Special Offer Special Offer

Police, Firefighters, Armed Forces & Educators Save $30

Learn More

©, LLC. All rights reserved. 
     1302 Waugh Drive #178
, HoustonTexas 77019
| Phone: 1-877-947-WILL (9455)
| Blog | Sitemap 

Disclaimer: is an online self-help tool that provides general information and software only. is not a law firm and is not a substitute for an attorney or law firm. cannot provide any advice, explanation, opinion, or recommendations about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, selection of forms or strategies. Communications between you and are protected by our Privacy Policy but not by the attorney-client privilege. Your access to the website is subject to our Terms of Use.