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Common Terms Found in Wills and Trusts

Wed, Dec 28, 2022 at 9:25PM

Common Terms Found in Wills and Trusts

Wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents are supposed to be unique to you and your circumstances. However, this does not mean that all wills and trusts are completely different from other wills and trusts. 

On the contrary, many estate planning documents will have the same general provisions — just the wording will be reworked depending on the client’s needs. Even wills and trusts crafted by different attorneys in Daytona Beach, Florida, may contain similar terms and structure.

Naming an Administrator or Trustee

One frequently-encountered term in wills and trusts will name one or more individuals to act as the administrator over the decedent’s estate. In the case of a trust, many trusts will contain a similar provision that names a trustee. 

An administrator or executor is responsible for guiding your estate through the probate process. This person seeks court orders as appropriate to carry out your final wishes, collects and distributes your assets, and resolves any claims against the estate.

The trustee of a trust has a similar role. This person acts as a manager for the trust and its property, taking steps to safeguard the property and carry out the purposes of the trust.

Identifying a Guardian for Minor Children

If you have minor children, you and similarly situated individuals will craft wills and trusts that identify a guardian for your children. The guardian acts to provide physical and legal care over your children if you and the other parent both perish while the children are still minors.

This is a critical term, as without it a court would be forced to name a guardian who may or may not share your parenting values. If a guardian you do not approve of is appointed, that guardian can decide where your child lives, what school they go to, and even the faith background in which the child will be raised.

Distribution of Assets to Beneficiaries

While the ways in which people can divide their assets and property are endless, every will and every trust will speak to how the decedent’s or trust’s property is to be used. 

In the case of wills, the terms may specify that certain beneficiaries receive certain items of property. Or the testator may divide all of their property between several beneficiaries.

In the case of a trust, where the trust itself owns property, the trust will almost always specify the purposes to which the property should be put. These purposes may include supporting you and your family members during their lifetimes or benefiting some charitable cause.

In both cases, these terms help guarantee that the people and causes you wish to benefit from your property actually receive your assets.

Does a Wills Attorney in Daytona Beach Make a Difference?

While many wills and trusts cover similar topics, you should still hire a wills attorney in Daytona Beach. The language with which these provisions are drawn must be precise and unambiguous so both courts and laypersons can understand and apply them. An attorney is well-equipped to accomplish this goal.

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