Glossary - Wills and Adminstration of Estates

wills image


Absolute Interest:

A beneficiary is entitled immediately and absolutely to their entitlement without any restriction.


Income is retained (in a Trust) and re-invested.


The trustees are given authority to pay capital monies to a beneficiary.


A beneficiary takes an asset in lieu of their entitlement in an Estate.


A document executed by an individual amending the contents of their Will.

Court of Protection:

The Court which has responsibility for the management of assets of those unable to do so for themselves on the grounds of mental disability.

Deed of Variation:

See detailed briefing note on this subject on this site.

Estate Accounts:

Accounts recording financial transactions (income and capital) during the administration of an Estate.

Grant of Probate/ Letters of Administration:

An Order from the Probate Court authorising Executors or Administrators (where there is
no Will) to deal with the affairs of the deceased.

Hotch Pot:

This is a provision in a will requiring that where one beneficiary has already been given a specified asset (perhaps a house or a business) the value of that asset must be taken into account before sharing other assets-this enables equality to be delivered to beneficiaries

Life Interest/Tenant:

A situation in which a beneficiary is not entitled absolutely but instead only to income
From capital or use of an asset (for example, a house) during their lifetime.

Nil Rate Band:

A term used in relation to Inheritance Tax – to describe that part of the Estate below which
Inheritance Tax is not payable – see separate briefing note on Inheritance Tax elsewhere on this site.

Personal Chattels:

This has a very specific meaning – including Personal effects but excluding cash and chattels used for business purposes.

Potentially Exempt Transfer:

A lifetime gift which does not attract tax at the date of the gift but which may do so later.

Power Reserved:

A named Executor may choose not to formally apply for a grant at the outset of an administration (leaving the application to others) but who reserves the right to apply later.

Renouncing Probate:

A named Executor signs a document formally cancelling their appointment as an Executor from the start.

Residuary Estate/Residuary Beneficiary:

The remainder of the Estate after payment of debts and legacies is paid to the residuary beneficiary.

Specific Legacy:

Gift of a specific asset


An individual or trust corporation who is named as the legal owner of an asset but who holds if not for their personal benefit but for the benefit of another – see separate briefing note elsewhere on this site in relation to Trusts.


A document which makes provision for the disposal of assets by the maker (known as a Testator) upon their death. There are strict rules as to the formalities required.



robin v1
Robin Comber
Chartered Legal Executive

holly v1
Holly Maxwell Gumbleton

joanna v1
Joanna Fildes
Legal Advisor

jackie alexander main
Jackie Alexander

Lucy v2
Lucy Robinson
Chartered Legal Executive

contact llb
question llb
callback llb



Lawyers For Life

Lawson Lewis Blakers are able to offer specialist advice..


Out Of Hours

There are appointments out of hours available if you need them, please ask when you speak to the secretary or your lawyer.