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Glossary of Legal Terms

If you would like to know what some of the most commonly used legal terms related to Yorkshire Cancer Research, you can find the answers within the following glossary of legal terms.


Glossary of legal terms:


Bequest/legacy A gift in your Will.


Codicil A “supplement” making a change or addition to your Will.


Estate Total sum of all your possessions.


Executor A person charged with ensuring that your wishes expressed in your Will are carried out. Executors can also be beneficiaries.


Beneficiary A person, or charity, who benefits from a gift in your Will.


Inheritance Tax This is usually paid on an estate when somebody dies. Most estates don’t have to pay Inheritance Tax because they are valued at less than the threshold (£325,000 in 2010-11)


Pecuniary legacy A gift of a sum of money – these are linked to some form of financial instrument such as an annuity or life insurance policy or a Trust where part or all of the income/capital can be distributed to a non-profit.


Residuary legacy A gift of what is left of your estate (or part of) after all debts, taxes, costs and other bequests have been paid. It can be a percentage or fraction or share of an estate – even 1% of your estate.


Specific legacy A gift of a particular item in your Will.


Reversionary legacy A gift in your Will that reverts to another beneficiary (such as a charity) when the original beneficiary dies.


Witness A witness to your signature on your Will. A witness cannot be a beneficiary in many parts of the world.


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