|Will:||The informal title for a Last Will and Testament; a document in which an individual sets out his or her desires for the transfer of assets upon death.|
|Beneficiary:||An individual or entity receiving some portion of Will or trust assets. A primary beneficiary is entitled to assets before any subsequent, or contingent, beneficiary’s rights.|
|Bequest:||A direction in a Will to transfer an item of personal property to a beneficiary (as compared to a “devise” of real property).|
|Codicil:||A document which by its terms modifies a Last Will and Testament.|
|Devise:||A transfer of real property in a Will (as compared to a “bequest” of personal property).|
|Disclaimer:||The act of a beneficiary (such as a spouse) to decline assets which he or she is entitled to receive under a Will or Trust.|
|Disinherit:||To purposely and with intention exclude an individual from receiving assets as beneficiary under a Will or trust.|
|Durable Power of Attorney:||Allows you to name an agent who can act in your place should you become incapacitated, enabling them to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf.|
|Executor:||The person (or entity) who handles the steps involved in carrying out the instructions in a Will, including the probate process and the distribution of assets passing under a Will.|
|Heir:||An individual entitled to receive a decedent’s assets if the decedent does not specify beneficiaries through other means, such as a Will or trust document.|
|Intestate:||The transfer of assets following default transfer rules when a decedent does not have a Will.|
|Last Will and Testament:||The formal title for a Will; a document in which an individual sets out his or her desires for the transfer of assets upon death.|
|Notary:||A court-supervised process to accomplish the transfer of property from a decedent to the decedent’s beneficiaries as directed by a Will. Information used during this process becomes a matter of public record.|
|Personal Representative:||The person who handles the steps involved in carrying out the instructions in a Will, including the probate process and the distribution of assets passing under a Will. This person may also be referred to as an executor or administrator.|
|Pourover Will:||A Last Will and Testament that directs all of a decedent’s assets into the decedent’s trust (the trust then directs the trustee how to handle those assets).|
|Probate:||A court-supervised process to accomplish the transfer of property from a decedent to the decedent’s beneficiaries as directed by a Will. Information used during this process becomes a matter of public record.|
|Probate Property:||Property that, at death, transfers by a Last Will and Testament to a beneficiary through a probate process.|
|Testator:||Last Will and Testament to a beneficiary through a probate process. The decedent, creator of a Will.|
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provides End of Life consulting services that help Organizations, Businesses, Families and individuals to prepare and take control for the expected and the unexpected. We are based in Houston, Texas. Whether young, single or newly married, edging into middle age or moving out of it, if you have not thought about and prepared for End of Life issues, we can help. We will speak to your organizations and employees and we have a unique facilitation process to work with small groups, families and individuals. You can reach us at ycollaborative.com.
Robert L. Shepard’s practice is focused on preventative law, basic estate planning, designed to avoid probate; family limited partnerships designed to reduce estate taxes; S Corporation formation to protect assets, and creating irrevocable trusts to protect inheritors against creditors. He has helped over 1,000 clients protect their hard-earned assets and ensures that these assets get passed on to the next generation. Having been before every Federal District Court in California, the U. S. Tax Court, and many of the state’s Superior Courts, he has never had a single: trust set aside, business agreement held unenforceable, or entity disallowed by the Internal Revenue Service, or any court. He also as a deep interest in transferring his breadth of knowledge in the classroom as a law professor.