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Beneficiary: A person or organisation, such as Greenpeace, to whom you leave a gift in your Will.

Codicil: A document, separate to your Will, that changes the provisions of your Will.

Contingent bequest: A gift in your Will that depends on an event which may or may not happen. For example, it could be a bequest that applies only if other named beneficiaries die before the person who made the Will.

Deed of Variation: A legal document that allows beneficiaries to change the terms of a Will, even after the person who made the Will has died.

Estate: Everything you own at the time of your death including your house or flat, your possessions such as jewellery and furniture, money and investments such as stocks and shares. All debts such as your mortgage and loans will be paid out of the value of your estate.

Executor: The person you appoint to distribute your estate according to the instructions in your Will.

Intestate: If you die without having made a Will, you are known as intestate.

Legacy: A gift left in your Will, also known as a bequest.

Life interest: The right of a beneficiary to benefit from part or all of an estate during their lifetime.

Residue: What’s left of an estate after funeral expenses, debts, legacies and taxes have all been paid.

Trust: A legal arrangement where assets are handed over to trustees for the benefit of other people known as
beneficiaries.

Trustee: Someone who holds property or assets on behalf of another person, and who is responsible for administering those assets.

Will: A legal document which sets out who you want to receive your estate when you die.

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