Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Legacy Glossary

Term Explanation


An administrator performs the same job as an executor but when there is no Will, the term administrator is used.


Everything you own such as your home, car, jewellery, savings, investments. You get an estimate value of your estate using the Institute of Fundraising's legacy wealth calculator.


A person or organisation named to receive a legacy or bequest (gift) in your will.


A gift left in your will to a person or organisation. It can be in the form of money, property, stocks and shares or possessions.


A change or addition to an existing will.

Conditional Legacy

Gifts made on the basis of another event happening first. Your will could state that a gift only applies if all other beneficiaries named in the will die before you do.

Chattels and moveables

Your possessions, including furniture and cars.


The total sum of your possessions, property and money (minus debts) left after your death.


Person(s) appointed by you to administer your will.

Inheritance tax

The government sets the Inheritance Tax threshold for the year and any estate with a value over this amount is subject to tax. The current threshold is £325,000 (March 2013). Any amount of the estate over this threshold will be taxed at 40%, however, anyone who leaves 10% or more of their net estate to charity can choose to pay a reduced tax rate of 36%.


A person who dies without making a will. The law will decide how their estate is taken care of.


A gift left in your will to a person or organisation. It can be in the form of money, property, stocks and shares or possessions.

Life interest

Income from the assets of the trust is paid to the life tenant(s) during their lifetime and, on the death of the life tenant, the assets are distributed to the remainder beneficiaries.

Next of kin

A person who is the closest living relation to the deceased. If you do not have a valid will, he or she may have to administer (look after) your estate and may also receive some or all of your estate (depending on which other family members survive you).

Pecuniary legacy

A gift of a fixed sum of money in your will. The value of pecuniary legacies could decrease over time as inflation increases.

Personal representative

A person who is entitled to administer the estate on behalf of the executor (e.g. a solicitor who acts on behalf of a lay executor).

Permanent Endowment

This is a gift in a will that must be held permanently and not spent like cash. Often the interest is used to raise money for a charity.

Power of attorney

A legal document which authorises one or more people to handle another person's financial affairs (including property, shares, money, etc), either generally or in relation to specific items.

Probate (in Scotland Confirmation)

A legal process that takes place after death. This usually involves proving that the deceased's will is valid in order to give executors the authority to administer a will.

Residuary legacy

A gift of the reminder of your estate, or a percentage, after all other legacies have been made and debts cleared. Residuary legacies keep pace with inflation and are an effective way to divide the value of an estate between a number of people and causes.

Reversionary legacy

A gift of assets to a chosen beneficiary to use during their lifetime, with the whole or portion reverting to a charity on their death.


A professional person who meets the standards set by the Law Society and is qualified to undertake legal work including wills and probate. Solicitors are regulated by the Law Society.

Specific legacy

A gift made by will of a particular item (usually anything that is not land).

Testator or testatrix

A person who has made a will.


A document in which an individual specifies the method to be applied in the management and distribution of their estate upon their death.


Someone who signs your will in your presence, who must not be a beneficiary.

Need more help?

You can speak to the team about including Warwick in your will at  or telephone on +44 (0) 24 7615 1969

For legal advice about your will you should contact your solicitor.

Click here to find a local solicitor