Understanding estate planning terminology

Planning for long-term care of the elderly often includes matters of estate. When a Georgia resident enters the estate planning process, he or she is likely to encounter various terms and phrases that may sound complicated or difficult to understand without appropriate  legal guidance. Gaining an understanding of basic estate plan terminology ahead of time can help make the execution of a thorough estate plan less stressful.

Estate owners often designate trustees. A trustee is a person who agrees to hold the legal title to a particular property or assets in care for a beneficiary. For instance, if an aging grandparent wishes to bequeath money for college for a grandchild who is currently too young to attend college, he or she may place the money in trust and appoint a trustee to oversee the fund until a specifically designated time when the grandchild may gain access to the fund.

An executor of a will, on the other hand, is a person placed in charge of carrying out the provisions of a last will and testament. If a person dies without having executed a final will, the court appoints an administrator; this person then manages the liabilities and assets of an intestate estate. The latter phrase (intestate estate) simply means someone has died with no will in place, and his or her assets are probated according to the state’s laws of intestacy.

Fiduciary duty, irrevocable trust and advanced care directives are other common estate planning terms that may or may not apply to a particular Georgia estate plan. To avoid confusion and make well-informed decisions, it often helps to consult with an experienced estate planning and administration law attorney before implementing an official plan. Such guidance often helps simplify and expedite the estate planning process.

Source: FindLaw, “Things You Need to Know if You Are Named Executor of a Will or Trustee of an Estate“, Accessed on Feb. 13, 2018


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Kevin Tharpe

With 25 years of experience, Kevin understands how estate planning, special needs planning, and government benefits programs work together. This is a crucial element of a thorough plan. He explains your eligibility for benefits programs and ensures that you do not make costly mistakes that may disqualify you or deplete your assets.

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