Estate Planning Glossary

If you have questions about specific estate planning terms, the TuckerAllen Estate Planning Glossary is a great resource — but creating your estate plan can really be much easier than that. Let the attorneys at TuckerAllen answer your questions and help you create an estate plan for you and your family.
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A
  • Administration
    The process during which the executor, personal representative, or administrator gathers...
  • Administrator
    The individual or corporate fiduciary appointed by the probate court...
  • Annual exclusion
    The value of assets that may be transferred by gift from...
  • Applicable exclusion amount
    The value of assets that can be sheltered from federal estate and gift taxes...
  • Ascertainable standard
    A standard—typically an individual’s health, support, maintenance or education...
  • Attorney-in-Fact
    An individual or corporate fiduciary designated to handle the financial...
B
  • Beneficiary
    A person entitled to receive distributions of income and/or principal...
C
  • Codicil
    A formally executed document that modifies an individual’s existing last will...
  • Community Property
    A form of property ownership whereby each spouse is considered...
  • Conservator
    An individual or bank or trust company appointed by the probate court...
D
  • Decedent
    A deceased individual.
  • Descendant
    A person who was born into or legally adopted into the direct line of an individual’s descent...
  • Disclaimer
    An individual’s refusal to accept a gift or other distribution...
  • Durable Power of Attorney
    A form of power of attorney that does not terminate...
E
  • Estate Planning
    The general process by which an individual strategizes for the distribution...
  • Estate Tax
    A tax imposed on the transfer of property at an individual’s...
  • Estate Tax Exemption Amount
    See Applicable Exclusion Amount.
  • Executor
    An individual or corporate fiduciary named by a deceased individual...
F
  • Family Trust
    Generally, any trust established to benefit an individual's spouse...
  • Fiduciary
    Any individual or entity required to act for the benefit...
G
  • Gift Tax
    A federal tax imposed on the transfer of property from one individual...
  • Grantor
    Generally, any person who transfers property to another individual or...
  • Grantor Trust
    A trust over which the grantor (the individual transferring property to the trust) retains...
  • Gross Estate
    A federal estate tax concept that includes the total dollar...
  • Guardian
    An individual or bank or trust company appointed by the probate court...
H
  • Health Care Power of Attorney
    A document that appoints an individual (an “agent”) to make health care decisions...
  • Heir
    An individual entitled to a distribution of an asset or...
I
  • Income
    The earnings from principal, such as interest, rental payments, dividends...
  • Interest of a Beneficiary
    The right to receive income or principal provided in the terms...
  • Intestacy
    Occurs when an individual dies without a valid last will...
  • Inventory
    A detailed list of a decedent’s assets that is filed...
  • Irrevocable Trust
    A trust that cannot be terminated or revoked or otherwise modified...
J
  • Joint Tenancy
    An ownership arrangement in which two or more persons own property...
L
M
N
O
  • Operation of Law
    Sometimes, the transfer of assets at death will be governed by...
P
  • Per Stirpes
    A method for distributing property where each branch of the named person’s...
  • Personal Representative
    See Executor.
  • Pour Over Will
    A pour over will is a last will and testament which transfers...
  • Power of Appointment
    A power that gives an individual the right to transfer...
  • Power of Attorney
    A power of attorney is a written document granting an individual...
  • Principal
    Principal is the property (such as money, stock, or real estate) owned...
  • Probate
    Probate is a court supervised process wherein the executor or...
  • Probate Tax
    A tax imposed by some jurisdictions on any property transferred...
  • Property
    Anything that is owned by an individual or entity that...
  • Prudent Investor Act
    A state law that sets the standard of fiduciary duty...
  • Prudent Man Rule
    A fundamental legal maxim restricting the discretion of a trustee...
Q
R
  • Remainder Trust
    A lingering interest in an estate or trust even though...
  • Residue
    The property remaining in a decedent’s estate after payment of the estate’s debts...
  • Revocable Trust
    A type of trust where the individual establishing the trust...
S
T
U
V
W
  • Will
    See Last Will & Testament.

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