Glossary

An administrator is a person or corporation appointed to administer the estate of a deceased person who dies either without a Will or with a Will but without an executor or the executor dies or is unable or unwilling to act as executor.

An appointor is the person who can appoint and remove the trustee of a trust and therefore is the person who controls the trust.

An attorney is the person who receives the power to act on behalf of another. The terms grantee or donee may also be used.

beneficiary is someone who receives a benefit under a Will or trust.

codicil is a document executed as a Will but which amends an existing Will.

donee is the person who receives the power to act on behalf of another. The terms grantee or attorney may also be used.

donor is the person who grants a power of attorney. This person may also be referred to as the grantor or principal.

An enduring guardian is someone you appoint to make lifestyle, health and medical decisions for you when you are not capable of doing this for yourself.

An enduring power of attorney is a type of power of attorney that continues to operate after the principal loses mental capacity.

An estate refers to all the assets of the deceased person wherever they may be located.

An estate plan is a way of ensuring that your estate assets are passed onto your beneficiaries in the most financially efficient and tax effective way possible.

An executor is the person nominated in a person’s Will who administers the terms of the Will.

guardian is one who is legally responsible for the care and management of the person or property of an incompetent or a minor.

An informal Will is a document executed by a person with the intention that it represent their testamentary intentions even though the document is not executed in strict conformity with the requirements of the legislation.

Inheritance relates to a benefit received via a Will on the death of a person.

Inter vivos means during the lifetime of a person.

Intestacy / Intestate is where a person dies without a Will or the Will is invalid. It can also extend to situations where the Will has been invalidly executed.

Joint tenants relates to one form of joint ownership of property. If you are purchasing property with another as joint tenants you will both own the whole of the property rather than any identified share of the property and should one of you die then your share of the property will pass automatically into the survivor’s name. See also Tenants in Common

Legacy is a cash gift in a Will.

legal personal representative is the executor or administrator of the estate of a deceased person.

Letters of administration are an official document granted by the court to allow an estate to be administered where either the person has died intestate, the Will is invalid, there is no executor or there are proceeds remaining in the estate which are not detailed in the Will.

minor is a person under the age of eighteen (18) years of age.

Non estate assets are assets which pass directly and automatically to another on your death without passing through your estate.

principal is the person who grants a power of attorney. This person may also be referred to as the grantor or donor.

Probate is an official document which states the Will of a deceased person is their last Will and testament. It allows the administration of the estate by the executor to proceed.

protected asset are those assets owned by a deceased which are not available to creditors for payment of debts unless they are specifically charged by deed or in the deceased’s Will. Those assets are however available to pay funeral and testamentary expenses.

Remainderman is a person who inherits or is entitled to inherit estate assets after the individual who owned the estate has died.

Residuary estate refers to those assets of a deceased person which remain after the payment of all debts, funeral and testamentary expenses and any specific gifts or legacies.

Tenants in common refer to one form of joint ownership of property. If you are purchasing property with another as tenants in common each of you will own a specified share in the property, for example, one half each, or two thirds owned by one party and the remaining third owned by the other party. When you own property as tenants in common and one party dies then that person’s share in the property will be transferred to the beneficiaries specified in the deceased’s Will as the new owner of that share of the property. See also Joint Tenants

testamentary trust is a fixed or non-fixed trust that is established by Will and is funded by the assets of the deceased estate or by payments to the estate in consequence of death e.g. superannuation death benefits or insurance proceeds paid to the estate rather than directly to dependants or nominated beneficiaries.

testator is the person who has made the Will. A testatrix is a female who makes a Will. A trust is an arrangement where assets are held on behalf of another. Trust arrangements may be formal or informal. There are different types of trusts.

Trustee is a person who holds assets on behalf of another.

Trustee powers refer to those powers given to a trustee to administer a trust fund both by statute and the terms of the trust instrument.

Will is a document which outlines how a person wishes the assets of their estate to be distributed among beneficiaries. There are certain requirements to ensure the will is valid.

Jane Araneda
Jane Araneda
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Thanks to Graeme, Blaise and their team at Heckenberg Lawyers for helping us finalise our matter in a timely manner. They were always very helpful and professional. They took care of everything very well, which meant that there was no added stress on me and my family. Jane A.
Kim Pink
Kim Pink
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I found Heckenberg Lawyers to be very professional and knowledgeable. Graeme took the time and explained the entire process to me. He was never pushy nor was he just after "his cut" as so many other practices are. He was at all times looking out for the best interest of the estate and not wanting it to be eaten. I found his staff to be extremely thorough and attentive. I would have no hesitations to recommend this practice if you want the best outcome possible.
Donna Hodges
Donna Hodges
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Blaise was extremely professional in assisting with all matters to do with my fathers estate and probate. She made an extremely complex process very easy to understand and instilled great confidence at a difficult personal time for our family.
Sonja Psaroudis
Sonja Psaroudis
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If you need legal representation in a matter to do with Wills & Estate law I highly recommend Graeme, Blaise and the whole team at Heckenberg. Their knowledge and expertise in this area of the law was a huge comfort at a very difficult time, saving all parties involved time and money in the long run. Thanks again .!
Olma Mignacca
Olma Mignacca
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Graeme is trustworthy and thorough. His charges were reasonable and easily understood. The team was considerate and helpful.
Samuel Burns
Samuel Burns
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As the executor of an estate, I engaged Graeme and his team to handle a family provision claim and probate matter. I found Graeme to be professional and knowledgeable. Throughout the entire process, Graeme treated all parties involved with respect. He was always willing to take my concerns onboard and never pushy. Highly recommended.
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