What does it all mean? Estate planning dictionary.

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Most people understand that they should have a Will and Lasting Power of Attorney in place. However, when they do come to write their Will/Lasting Power of Attorney, they often don’t understand the terminology being used. We would like to shed some light on some of the commonly used terms in estate planning.

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Relating to Wills:


The person whom the Will is being written for – their wishes will be conveyed in the Will and it is important that the Will is checked and signed by the Testator in the presence of two witnesses.

The Testator must be of sound mind and understand what is being written in the Will.


Up to four Executors can be named with Reserve Executors being an option. An Executor is responsible for carrying out the wishes of the Testator when they have passed away. An Executor should be someone the Testator trusts and can be (and often is) a family member. This is an important role and can be a hefty task, so it’s important to ask your chosen Executor before they are given this responsibility.

An Executor can pass over their duties to a professional Executor if they feel they cannot carry out the Probate. To find out more, speak to our Assured Probate team.


This is the process of administering the estate after the death of the Testator. The Executors are responsible for making sure everything is carried out according to the wishes stated in the Will. The process of applying for the Grant of Probate and administering the estate can be very lengthy and is not necessarily determined by the size of the estate, rather by how complex the estate is.

A person can carry out the probate themselves, however often this is passed onto a professional body, especially for a complex case.

Relating to Lasting Powers of Attorney


The person whom the LPA is being written for. The Donor appoints up to two Attorney’s with two reserve Attorney’s as an option too. The Donor should select someone they trust to act on their behalf and it is best that the LPA is registered straight away to prevent any problems.


This relates to the person nominated to be responsible for someone who has lost capacity. There are two types of LPA and an Attorney can be appointed for both health and welfare and property and affairs. If made responsible for both, the Attorney can make decisions for the Donor’s health (such as the care they will receive) as well as for their finances (such as their bank accounts, etc…).


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