Estate Planning Glossary of Terms

Beneficiary:
A person designated to receive income or assets in a will or trust.

Estate Planning:
Orderly arrangement of assets and a plan for conveying them to heirs and others in a manner calculated to minimize taxes, expenses and delays.

Grantor:
The person who establishes a trust.  Also called a Settlor.

Gross Estate:
Total dollar value of all one’s property for estate tax purposes.

Guardian:
A person who is legally responsible for managing the affairs and the care of a minor or incompetent person.

Intestate:
Dying without a will.

Irrevocable:
When applied to a trust indicates, it cannot be changed or canceled.

Marital Deduction:
A federal estate tax deduction for property received by the deceased’s spouse.

Probate Court:
A specialized court in each state set up to handle the management of wills, estates of persons dying without a will, and other functions, such as guardianships.

Taxable Estate:
Gross estate less deductions such as marital and charitable deductions, debts and administrative expenses.

Trustee:
Person or institution empowered to manage trust property according to instructions contained in the trust agreement.

Will:
Basic Document for transferring property to successors through probate court.

Trust is always earned. Never given.