Doncaster Office
Sheffield Office

Common Terminology in a Will

17 September 2019

Lauren Smith

Common Terminology in a Will


When making a Will you will come across some terminology you may not be familiar with. It may be a good idea that before making a Will you research making a Will first so that you can familiarise yourself with some of the terminology used and gain a basic understand of their meanings which will make the task of creating the legal document easier.


Estate – This refers to the assets and liabilities of the person who has died

Beneficiary - A beneficiary is a person, charity or organisation who receive some kind of inheritance from your estate

Executor - An executor is the person who deals with administering your estate when you die – they will close bank accounts, sell property, encash assets, pay off debts and distribute the estate in accordance with your wishes in your Will

Guardian - A guardian is the person who looks after your child whilst they are under the age of 18. 

Testator - The person making a Will

Legacy - A legacy is a specific gift left within the Will to an organisation or individuals.  There are different types of legacy

Pecuniary legacy - A gift of cash     

Specific legacy - This is a gift of an object, for example a gift of a property, shares, personal belongings etc.


If you are interested in making a Will or would like to know more about how to make one, please contact Lauren Smith – Partner and Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate on 0114 272 1884 or email