Attorney - someone you trust who is appointed by a Lasting Power of Attorney to make decisions for you when you are unable to make them for yourself.
Beneficiaries - people who receive money or property from a deceased person's Will.
Codicil - a formal amendment to a Will. It is important to seek legal advice if you want to change an existing Will.
Estate - the term used to describe all the property and assets of a deceased person.
Executors - your personal representatives, appointed in your Will to make sure your wishes are carried out.
Guardians - people that you trust to look after your children if you die before the children are 18 (16 in Scotland). Your named guardians cannot take on this duty if you die, but someone else with parental responsibility is still living.
Inheritance Tax - the tax payable on assets left by a deceased person, where the assets are above a certain level. Some gifts of money or property that you give during before you die are included in this calculation. Your solicitor will advise if this tax is likely to apply in your case.
Intestacy - death without a Will.
Letter of Wishes - a letter which is kept with your Will that lists all the specific items you wish to give away, and who you wish to give them to. They can be useful, because they are much easier to change than a Will. However, they are not legally binding and rely on trusting someone to carry out your wishes, and so they may not be suitable for everyone. Your solicitor can help you decide what is best for you.
Mental Capacity - having the mental ability to make and communicate decisions. In cases of doubt, an expert medical opinion will be needed.
Mirror Will - two Wills which are made, usually for a married couple, where the wishes mirror each other, e.g. each of you leaves everything to your spouse, and then to your children. It is not suitable for couples who have complex individual financial assets.
Probate - the process of proving that a Will is legal after someone has died, so that the Will can be put into effect. In Scotland this is called Confirmation.
Public Guardian - the officer and department of the government which has responsibility for protecting vulnerable and at risk individuals and for administering and registering Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Revoke - a formal term meaning to cancel a Will.
Testament - a formal term for a Will.
Testator/Testatrix - a person who makes a Will.
Will - a formal legal document setting out what you want to happen after you die.