Director Christopher Smith, staff and residents in May 2012

A glossary of terms

The brief list below may help you make sense of what is in reality a very simple process.

Beneficiary – the person or charity who benefits from a gift in your will.

Bequest – a gift in your will.

Codicil – a supplemental paragraph making a change or addition to your will.

Estate – the total amount of your capital and possessions.

Executor – the person with legal responsibility and authority to ensure that your wishes are followed in the execution of your will.  This person can also be a beneficiary.

Inheritance Tax – the tax levied on your estate if its value is over a certain limit.

Intestacy – dying without having made a will.

Legacy – any gift you choose to make to a beneficiary as part of your will.

Legator – the person who leaves the legacy in their will.

Pecuniary Legacy – a gift of a specified sum of money or capital.

Residuary Legacy – a gift of all or part of your estate after the settlement of all debts, taxes, and other liabilities.

Reversionary Legacy – a gift which reverts to a second beneficiary after the specified first beneficiary dies.

Specific Legacy – a gift of a particular possession (ie., house, painting, jewellery, etc.).

Witness – anyone who witnesses the Legator’s signature on their will.  This person cannot also be a beneficiary.