Posted by Ms. Maria BergerApr 20, 20190 Comments

I developed this basic glossary for my Estate Planning clients, to help them better understand the terms Attorneys use when developing a comprehensive Estate Plan.

Health Care Power of Attorney – Designates an agent to make health care decisions for you should you become incapacitated

Standby Guardianship - A way of designating a Guardian of your children should you die or become no longer willing or able to make and carry out day-to-day child care decisions concerning the child

Durable Power of Attorney – Designates an agent to step into your “financial shoes” and gives the agent the power to access and control all of your finances while you are incapacitated

Will – Standard way of designating to whom you would like to pass on your real and personal property; also designates guardianship of children; must be submitted to the court for probate proceedings

Trust – A Trust is an entity created to hold property for the benefit of someone else (called a beneficiary), to be distributed by your representative (called a Trustee) in accordance with the terms of the Trust

Trustee – A person or corporation designated in a Trust document to administer the Trust in accordance with its terms

Will with Testamentary Trust – Combines a standard will with a Trust that comes into existence only on your death, and only for property to be passed to minor children; allows a Trustee to invest money for minors and dole out property over time

Living Trust – A Trust created during your lifetime, in which you serve as the Trustee while you are still alive and not incapacitated, and in which you designate successor Trustees to act upon your death, who will distribute your property as you designate in the Trust; property must be re-titled in the Trust's name; does not need to be submitted to the court for probate in most instances; a Living Trust is fully revocable during your lifetime

Pour-over Will – a companion document to the Living Trust; this “Will” designates guardianship only and directs the court to transfer any property not titled in the name of the Trust to the Trustee