Probate Code - Trust Definitions
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Administrator- A person or institution appointed by a court to act on behalf of the deceased person in connection with the administration of the decedent’s estate.
Beneficiary- The individual of corporation who received the benefit of a transaction.
Devisees and Legatees- Persons named by a decedent in his or her will. A bequest or device generally refers to real property and a legacy refers to money or personal property.
Escheat- The term which describes the reversion of property to the state in the event that a person dies leaving no valid will and no heirs at law surviving him or her.
Executor- The individual or corporation appointed in a will by a testator to take care of the testator’s property after his or her death. Also called a personal representative.
Fiduciary- A person charged with a high degree of care who acts on behalf of another. Executors and trustees are fiduciaries.
Heir- The person who inherits property under state law.
Inheritance Tax- The tax imposed, according to the relationship to the decedent, on the person who receives the property.
Irrevocable Trust- A trust whose terms and provisions cannot be changed, modified, altered, amended, or revoked.
Life Estate- An interest in property, the term of which is measured but the life of tis owner.
Power of Appointment- The actual power of legal authority given by the trust or will of one person, the “donor” of the power, to a second person, the “done” of the power, which enables the second person to designate the manner of disposing of the property. A power of appointment may be general or special.
Pour-over Will- A will that provides for the transfer, after or during the probate court proceedings, of all or part of the net assets of the decedent’s probate estate from the executor’s control to the control of a trustee who is in charge of a trust that was in existence immediately before the death of the deceased person (inter vivos trust).
Probate Administration- The legal process where by a probate court supervises the marshaling of a deceased person’s debts and taxes and orders the property distribution according to the decedent’s will, or in its absence, to the deceased person’s heirs. The probate court has jurisdiction over the personal representative and the decedent’s estate.
Real Property- An interest in land or property permanently affixed to land.
Revocable Trust- A trust whose terms and provisions can be changed, modified, altered, amended, or revoked.
Settlor- Another word for the grantor or trustor of a trust. The person who “settles” the assets into the trust.
Testate- Refers to someone who dies leaving a will.
Trust- A legal entity established either during a trustor’s lifetime (inter vivos) or at his death (testamentary). The trust id governed by the terms set forth in the trust documents. A trust must have a trustee, a beneficiary, and a “corpus” or property subjected to the trust.
Trustee- The individual or corporation who is in a trust has bare legal title to the assets and has the power given in the trust to carry out the wished of the person or persons (trustor or trustors) who created the trust. The trustee has the fiduciary obligations to the trusts beneficiaries enforceable in court if not carried out. The trustee is subject to strict regulations. Although he has legal title for convenience, the beneficial or equitable title is in fact owned by the beneficiaries. When there is more than one trust, the trustees are called co-trustees.
Trustor- The person or persons who establish a trust. There can be more than one trustor.
Mary Grace Toia
Foundations Real Estate Brokerage