Here are explanations of some of the words you may come across when making a Will.

Assets: all of your possessions, including property, car, furniture, jewellery, shares, endowments, savings, life insurance policies etc.

Beneficiary: Any person or organisation that receives a gift in your Will.

Bequest/legacy: A gift in your Will, also known as a legacy.

Codicil: A document containing addition or change to an existing Will.

Dependant: someone who depends on you for financial support.

Estate: everything you own at the time of your death

Executor/executrix: The man or woman you ask to administer your Will when you are gone and make sure your wishes are carried out.

Inheritance tax: The tax due on your estate if it exceeds a certain threshold. It includes the market value of your house when you die. You can find out more about inheritance tax here and whether it may be due on your estate. Or here if you’re in Ireland.

Intestate: The word used to describe someone who has died without a Will.

Liabilities: everything you owe, include mortgage, loans and credit cards etc.

Pecuniary gift: A gift of a specific sum of money in your Will.

Probate: This is the legal administrative process of settling your estate after your death. It involves your executors applying for the legal right to deal with your estate, so that they can settle any outstanding financial obligations, and then distribute your money, property and possessions according to your wishes.

Residuary legacy: A gift of whatever is left over once all other gifts have been made from your estate. You can leave all of the residue or divide it up into portions.

Specific bequest: A gift of a thing, like a house, an antique or a necklace.

Testator/testatrix: the person making the Will