Abatement: the reduction or elimination of a testamentary gift as a result of the estate’s being insufficient to pay all the debts.
Ademption: the failure of a testamentary gift by reason of the asset’s ceasing to be part of the testator’s estate at the time of death.
Administrator: the person the court appoints to administer the estate of an intestate; if named in a will, this person is called an executor.
Advancement: a gift that an intestate makes during her life, to a relative, with the intent that it be applied against any share in the intestate’s estate that the relative might be entitled to on the intestate’s death.
Autopsy And Funeral/Burial Affidavit: a document that indicates the wishes of a deceased individual regarding funeral arrangements and other related matters.
Beneficiary: a person designated as the recipient of funds or other property under a will, trust, or other legal instrument.
Blind Trust: a trust in which a settlor places investments under the control of an independent trustee who was sole discretion as to their management. The settlor also gives up the right to information regarding the status of the assets.
Charitable Trust: a trust created to benefit a specific charity or the general public rather than a private individual or entity; also called a public trust.
Descent: real estate is said to pass “by decent” when the land is inherited by way of a will; the term descent is synonymous with the term devise.
Elective Share: the portion of a deceased spouse’s estate, set by statute, that a surviving spouse may choose to receive instead of taking under a will or in the event of being unjustifiably disinherited.
Escheat: this is a doctrine that says that if you die without a will and without any close relatives, your property goes to the state (and not to some distant relative).
Executor: the person the testator names in the will to administer the estate; this person is called an administrator when named by a court (rather than named in a will).
Guardianship Affidavit: a document that indicates a parent’s preference as to who should serve as guardian to any minor-aged children in the event of the parent’s disability.
Guardianship Designation: a will provision that indicates a parent’s preference as to who should serve as guardian to any minor-aged children in the event of the parent’s death.
Health Care Power of Attorney: a document that allows an agent to make healthcare decisions for a patient who has become incompetent.
HIPPA Physical Health Affidavit: a document that allows an agent to access records pertaining to the physical health of another pursuant to the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA).
HIPPA Mental Health Affidavit: a document that allows an agent to access records pertaining to the mental health of another pursuant to the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA).
Holographic Will: a handwritten will that is not witnessed; holographic wills are not valid in Illinois.
Inter Vivos Gift: a gift made during the done’s lifetime; inter vivos gifts are not subject to probate proceedings.
Intestate: a person is said to die intestate when he or she dies without a valid will.
Intestate Succession: the way in which the law requires a person’s property to be distributed when he or she dies without a will.
Intestacy statute: the legislative act that determines who gets your property if you die without a will.
Irrevocable Trust: a trust that cannot be terminated by the settlor once it is created.
Pet Trust: a trust in which the settlor designates pets as beneficiaries.
Joint Trust: a single trust executed by two or more settlors.
Joint Will: a single will executed by two or more testators, typically disposing of their common property by transferring their separate titles to one devisee.
Lapse: the failure of a testamentary gift, particularly when the beneficiary dies before the testator; the Illinois “anti-lapse” statue permits testamentary gifts, which would otherwise fail, to pass to the descendants of a predeceased beneficiary.
Living Trust: a legal property interest held by one person (a trustee) at the request of another person (a settlor) for the benefit of a third party (a beneficiary); a living trust must take effect during the settlor’s lifetime.
Living Will: a document by which a person directs that her life not be artificially prolonged by extraordinary measures when there is no reasonable expectation of recovery from extreme physical or mental disability.Next of Kin: the determination of who gets the property of a person who dies without a will.
Noncupative Will: an oral will; typically unenforceable in Illinois.
Pourover Trust: a living trust that receives property from a will upon the testator’s death.
Pourover Will: a document by which a person directs his estate, or a portion thereof, to be distributed to an existing trust upon death.
Probate: to admit a will to proof, typically to administer a decedent’s estate.
Property Power of Attorney: a document that allows an agent to transact business for another.
Renunciation: occurs when a person entitled to a gift under a will or under the laws of intestate succession turns down the gift (compare to a “release of expectancy,” where an expected gift is disclaimed before the testator’s death).
Revocable Trust: a trust in which the settlor reserves the right to terminate the trust and recover the trust assets and any undistributed income.
Settlor: a person who sets up a trust.
Spendthrift Trust: a trust that imposes a valid restraint on the transfer of a beneficiary’s interest until the happening of a stated event (e.g., a beneficiary may not acquire trust property before reaching age 25); spendthrift trusts also protect beneficiaries from creditors.
Testator: an individual who dies leaving a valid will.
Testamentary Gift: a gift made in a will; testamentary gifts are subject to probate proceedings.
Testamentary Trust: a trust that is created by a will and takes effect when the settlor dies.
Trustee: one who holds legal title to property in trust for the benefit of another