Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Agent

A person authorized to act on behalf of another person, the "principal."

American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys

A good source for information on effective estate planning that will preserve your wealth; a national affiliation of attorneys focused on estate planning

Appraiser

Determines the value of hard to value assets - such as a business, real estate, or various types of collections - for tax purposes, as well as to assist the trustee in establishing values for distributions.

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Beneficiary

A person entitled to receive benefits from the trust. The trust's assets may be distributed outright to the beneficiary, or they may continue to be held in trust for the beneficiary.

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Conservatorships/Guardianships

This is the court-supervised proceeding which names an individual or entity to manage the affairs of an incapacitated person.

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Decedent

The deceased person.

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Estate Planning Attorney

The point-person for the trust administration, assisting the trustee with the inventorying of assets, preparation of estate tax (Form 706) and other tax returns, making of tax elections, and distribution of trust assets as provided under the trust document. Often, the estate attorney coordinates the interaction of other professionals needed for the trust administration.

Executor

In the case of individuals who have died intestate, the person playing the role of executor is often called the administrator or personal representative.

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Financial Planner

Assists the trustee or estate planning attorney in valuing securities, re-titling assets and making distributions to the beneficiaries.

Funding a Trust

Transferring ownership of property to a trust.

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General Durable Power of Attorney

This is a General Power of Attorney that remains valid even during your incapacity.

General Partner

One or more persons carrying on a business for profit as a partnership or limited partnership, having personal liability for all debts of the partnership, and, if in a limited partnership, having control of operations of the partnership.

General Power of Attorney

Provides your Agent with the broadest authority possible. It says that at any time – and in just about any capacity – your Agent can conduct business in your name. The Agent can be given great discretion.

Gift

A voluntary, gratuitous transfer of property made to another person.

Gifting Language

Special language that may be drafted and included with your Trust document and Power of Attorney to give authority to gift assets to accomplish planning goals.

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Healthcare Power of Attorney

This type of Power of Attorney outlines the specific medical decisions that you would like to see made in the event of your incapacity and appoints an Agent to carry out your wishes.

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Intestate

Each state has their own set of laws dealing with the procedure to be followed when an individual dies without a Will.

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Life Insurance Agent

Assists the trustee or estate planning attorney in obtaining death benefits that may be payable to a beneficiary or the trust itself.

Limited Partner

One or more persons associated in a limited partnership, having no personal liability for the debts of the partnership beyond his or her partnership investment, and having no direct control over operations of the limited partnership.

Living Trust

An estate plan, that unlike a will, may avoid probate

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Medicaid Triggers

These "triggers" or events can put into motion the shift of assets out of the name of the person who is incapacitated in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits.

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Power of Attorney

You empower someone else to act on your behalf. Technically, this person becomes your "Attorney in Fact," but is more commonly referred to as your "Agent."

Power of Attorney- document

A document authorizing one person, the "agent," to act on behalf of another person, the "principal." Also, referred to as "Attorney-in-Fact."

Principal

A person who has appointed another person, his or her "agent," to act on his or her behalf.

Probate

The legal process which transfers legal title from the decedent to the appropriate recipient of the property.

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Successor Trustee

Any person appointed to handle a trust after the death or disability of the trustor.

Survivor Trustor/Trustee

If the trust was a joint trust and the death was the first one for the couple, the surviving spouse is known as the surviving trustor. If the surviving spouse continues in his or her role as manager of the trust, then her or she also acts as the surviving trustee. In some situations, a co-trustee is appointed to act with the surviving spouse, or a third party takes over as trustee after the death of the first spouse.

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Trust Administration

The process of following a trust's instructions after the death of the grantor. For example, a trust may provide for funding of subtrusts.

Trustee

The person who manages assets owned by a trust under the terms of the trust.

Trustor

The creator of a trust.

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