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Important Glossary of Terms:
Administrator:   An administrator is a person appointed by a court to manage the estate of a person who dies without a will.
Beneficiary:  A beneficiary is a person who is designated to receive the financial benefits of an estate, property held in a trust, property held in a retirement plan, or of an insurance policy.
Charitable Trust:  A charitable trust is a trust that names a charitable organization as a beneficiary.
Conservator:  A Conservator is a person who is appointed by the court to manage the financial affairs of another person who is unable to manage his or her own affairs.
Estate Tax:  The estate tax is a transfer tax imposed on assets passing as a result of a person’s death.  The administrator or executor of an estate is usually responsible for filing the appropriate tax returns and paying the tax.
Executor:  An Executor (also known as a Personal Representative) is appointed to serve in a will and is charged with the responsibility of carrying out the provisions of the will.  There may be more than one person or institution named as an executor.  An Executor should be someone that you trust.
Fiduciary:  A fiduciary has a fiduciary duty to act in good faith, with honesty and loyalty in carrying out his/her duties with respect to a will or a trust.  An executor, administrator and/or trustee are some examples of a Fiduciary.
Gift Tax:  in some instances the IRS will impose a tax on the transfer of assets from one person to another.  The person making the gift usually pays any tax that is owed as a result of the transfer.
Guardian:  A Guardian is a person who is appointed by a court to manage the personal affairs and rights of another person who is unable to manage his or her own affairs.
Heir:  An heir is determined by Georgia law as a person who is entitled to inherit the assets of another person who has died without a will.
Intestate:  A person who dies “intestate” has died without a will.  That person’s property will be distributed by the court to the heirs determined by Georgia law.
Life Insurance Trust:  A life insurance trust is a trust that is named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy.
Living Trust:  A living trust also known as a revocable trust is created to receive the assets of an individual while that individual is still alive, and provides instructions for the management and distribution of those assets while the person creating the trust is still alive and after his or her death.
Power of Appointment:   A power of appointment is a power granted in a trust or will that allows one person to appoint the assets for the benefit of another person.
Power of Attorney:  A Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorizes one person to act on behalf on another person.
Probate:  The process by which a will is shown to be valid as the final expression of a person’s wishes upon their death.
Probate Court:  A court that has been granted the authority to probate wills and settle estates.
Probate Estate:   The probate “estate” are the assets of a deceased person that are transferred to another person through a will.
Successor Trustee:  An individual or institution that assumes the duties of the trusteeship when the current trustee can no longer act or wishes to resign.
Testator:  The Testator is the person who makes a will.
Testamentary Trust:  A testamentary trust is created by a will and becomes effective upon the death of the testator.  This is the opposite of a living trust which is created when the creator of the trust also called the “grantor” is still alive.
Trust:  A trust is a legal relationship whereby one person, the Trustee, holds legal title to property and is charged with managing that property for the benefit of another person.  The Trust document describes the duties and responsibilities of the Trustee and explains the rights of the beneficiary to receive the benefits of the Property.
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