DEFINITIONS OF COMMON ESTATE PLANNING TERMS

When you’re getting ready to work on your estate planning, you may find some of the terms or phrases confusing. This is common for many Miami residents; unless you are familiar with legal terminology, it is normal to mistake some estate administration terms for others or to have difficulty understanding what they mean. Fortunately, our attorneys at Luis E. Barreto & Associates, P.A., fully understand the differences between each estate planning definition, whether they are simple or complex.

The American Bar Association has provided a glossary of estate planning terms. The following are some of the most common that you may come across when planning a will or trust.

  • Beneficiaries – These are those whom you designate to inherit your property in a will or assets from a trust fund. They may be family members or other loved ones you want to include.
  • Conservator – If you wish to provide for an incapacitated person, the conservator you appoint will manage the property you leave to your loved one in a trust. You may also designate a conservator to manage your affairs if you are to become incapacitated.
  • Executor – You would usually designate an executor of your will. This would be a person you trust to carry out your wishes and distribute assets upon your death.
  • Probate – If you do not leave a will, your estate may go into probate, which is the court process for distributing property. The probate court may also be needed to prove the validity of a will, especially if there is a disagreement over its terms.
  • Trust – A trust functions similarly to a will in that it carries out your estate distribution wishes. However, you can include specific terms in a trust, such as how funds are to be managed for minor children.
  • Will – This is a common document that states how you wish your property and assets to be divided among your beneficiaries.

These are just a few of the terms you may discuss during your estate planning. For more information, please visit our page on estate planning by clicking here.

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Written by Luis E. Barreto

Luis E. Barreto

Luis is a probate and guardianship litigator with over 23 years of experience in the field. Determination of heirs, will contests, breaches of fiduciary duty, removal of personal representatives, guardians and trustees are just some of the types of litigation he addresses. In addition, he administers non-contested estates and guardianships.