Georgia Will Terms

Glossary of Terms

Attorney in fact:
The person who has been selected to perform acts for another through a written power of attorney. This power ends upon the death of the person who appointed that authority.

Beneficiary:
Individual granted gifts under another individual’s will.

Bequest:
A gift given through a will.

Codicil:

A supplement or addition to a will; which must be executed under the same guidelines as a will.

 Disinheriting:
If you choose to deprive an heir or a spouse of property that would have been given to them upon your death under the laws of the State in which you reside without the existence of a valid will. Many times , if such a person is excluded from a Will, they will later contest the will by claiming that you made a mistake in the drafting of the Will among other things. If you plan on excluding someone in your Will, it is advisable to include a statement in the Will that makes it clear that the exclusion was intentional.  Additionally, you may consider adding a clause in the Will that would have the estate pay the fees for any contests.

Estate:            
All of the property that you own, real and personal. Real property includes any land that you own while personal property can be furniture or jewelry.

Executor:
The person appointed under your will to handle the tasks required by your will after your death. This person disposes of the property in the estate pursuant to the terms and requests in the Will.

Guardian:
If you have minor children, you should chose a guardian to care of those children in case of your death and if the other parent is unavailable to care of the children. A guardian provides for the “person” of the child. In other words, the guardian provides for the child’s physical care, health, education and welfare.

Intestate Succession:
State law process that determines who shall have your property after your death if you do not have a will.

Power of Attorney:
A written document where one person appoints another to perform certain acts on behalf of that person if they are incapable of making those decisions themselves. A power of attorney can be general or specific.

Probate:
Process of administering an estate upon an individual’s death.

Self Proved Wills:
A will that is self proved by an affidavit of attesting witnesses in the form prescribed by statute.

Testamentary Intent:
Requirement for a valid will whereby the person creating the will must intend that the will presently operates as their last will and testament.

Testamentary Power:
A power appointed by another that can be only exercised through a will.

Testator:
The person creating the Will.

Natural Objects of One’s Bounty:
This term includes your spouse (if you are currently married), your children and in the case of a deceased child, his or her children.

Residuary Estate:
A will can distribute your assets by either specific bequests or the residuary estate.  In a specific bequest, you are giving a specific item or specific amount of money to a person, persons or entity. If there are specific requests, whatever that remains of your estate after the specific bequests are paid out as well as all debts and expenses of the estate becomes the residuary estate. Additionally, all specific bequests are paid before the residuary estate is distributed.  In most estates, the residuary estate includes the majority of the assets of the estate itself.  If a will does not include any specific bequests, then the residuary estate includes all of your remaining assets.

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Law Office of
Wendy A. Owens, P.C.
5710 Ogeechee Road #200
Suite 288
Savannah, Georgia 31405
912-210-0901
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