The person appointed by the court to manage one’s estate when (s)he dies without leaving a will. Administrators have the same duties as executors.
Property, such as real estate or stock, which has increased in value.
An individual designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan.
To give or leave something by will, typically personal property or assets.
A trust having a charitable organization as a beneficiary.
A legal instrument made to modify an earlier will.
The original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation.
Durable Power of Attorney
A written legal document that lets an individual designate another person to act on his/her behalf in the event the individual becomes disabled or incapacitated.
A tax imposed at one’s death on the transfer of most types of property.
Executor (or personal representative)
The person named in a will to manage the estate. This person will collect the property, pay any debt and distribute your property or assets according to the will.
A person or institution legally responsible for the management, investment and distributions of funds. Examples include trustees, executors and administrators.
Tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient.
Gift-Tax Annual Exclusion
The provision in the tax law that exempts the first $13,000 (as adjusted for inflation) in present-interest gifts a person gives to each recipient during a year from federal gift taxes.
The person who transfers assets into a trust for the benefit of another.
The total property or assets held by an individual as defined for federal estate tax purposes.
An individual legally appointed to manage the rights and/or property of a person incapable of taking care of his/her own affairs.
Any right or ownership in property.
The term applied when an individual dies without a will.
The ownership of property by two or more people, usually with the right of survivorship.
Life Insurance Trust
A trust that has the proceeds of an individual’s life insurance policy as its principal.
A revocable trust established by a grantor during his/her lifetime in which the grantor transfers some or all of his/her property into the trust.
A legal document directing that the maker’s or signer’s life will not be artificially supported in the event of a terminal illness or accident.
A deduction allowing for the unlimited transfer of any or all property from one spouse to the other generally free of estate and gift tax.
Power of Attorney
A written legal document that gives an individual the authority to act for another.
The court process for determining the validity of a deceased person’s will.
A written legal instrument created by a grantor during his or her lifetime or at the death for the benefit of another.
The unified credit is a tax credit that exempts the first $1 million in gifts over a person's lifetime or at their death. While the laws regarding the credit are refined from time to time, lifetime gifts and inheritances such as property have always been covered under provisions of the unified tax credit. However, taxpayers are urged to seek the counsel of an accountant that is well-versed in tax law.
A legally executed document that directs how and to whom a person’s property is to be distributed after death.