Ancillary Probate: If decedent had real property in another state probate is required in that state.
Annuity: The periodic payment of a definite sum of money, with such payments to continue for life or for a definite number of years.
Assets: All types of property which can be made available for the payment of debts.
Asset List: This list will inform your successor trustee where all assets and necessary documents are located.
Beneficiary: A person (or institution) who derives benefit from the creation of a trust, proceeds of insurance policy, IRA or other retirement plan, or property designated by a will.
Codicil: A supplement, amendment, or addition to a will executed with all the formalities of the will itself. It may explain, modify, add to, subtract from, qualify, alter, or revoke provisions in a will.
Custodial Account: A way to gifts of assets during life, bequests with a will, or distributions from a trust for the benefit of a child who is under 21.
Decedent: A deceased person.
Durable Power of Attorney: Allows the grantor of the power of attorney to survive any disability the grantor could suffer.
Estate Tax (Federal): Taxes assessed by the federal government upon a decedent’s right to transfer property.
Formal Probate Proceedings: Those conducted before a judge with notice to interested persons for probate of a will or appointment of a personal representative.
Gross Estate: For federal estate tax purposes, the total value of all property — real or personal, tangible or intangible — that a decedent had owned or had control over at the time of death.
Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of another who, because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his or her own affairs. The guardian manages the person. A conservator manages the property of a minor or incapacitated person. A person can be appointed both guardian and conservator.
Heirs: Those persons who are entitled under the statutes of intestate succession to the property of a decedent.
Holographic Will: A will in which the signature and material provisions are in the handwriting of the testator.
Intestate: A term used when a person dies without leaving a valid will.
Irrevocable: Trust in which the trustor (maker of the trust) has, by the terms of the trust agreement, specifically given up the power to alter, amend, or terminate the trust either entirely or in part.
Joint Tenancy: A form of co-ownership in which two or more persons hold interests in the same property with right of survivorship.
Lineal Descendant: One who is, by blood relationship, in the direct line of descent from an ancestor. The term includes adopted children in Montana.
Living Will: This document authorizes the termination of artificial life support in the event you are stricken with a terminal illness.
Pay on Death (POD): Designation is the naming of a beneficiary to receive an account balance on a party’s death.
Personal Representative: A person named in a will or appointed by the district court to administer the estate of a decedent. Formerly referred to as executor or administrator.
Personal Property: Assets whose ownership arises either out of physical possession of the property, or as the result of a document showing ownership. Examples: livestock, machinery, stored grain, bank deposits, stocks and bonds, checking and savings accounts, automobiles and other transportation and recreational vehicles. In Montana, all property other than real estate.
Pour Over Will: This document will transfer any assets that you may inadvertently omit from the Revocable Living Trust, revokes any prior existing wills, and names guardians of any minor children you may have.
Power of Attorney: A written, notarized document in which one person gives another the power to conduct certain acts on his or her behalf.
Probate: Process of the personal representative gathering all the property of someone who died, paying all just debts and taxes, and distributing the balance to the devisees designated in the will or to the heirs as prescribed by the legislature where there is no will or the will is defective.
Real Property: Real estate, minerals and royalty interests, growing timber, land and buildings attached to the land.
Revocable: A trust in which the trustor (maker of the trust) has, by the terms of the trust agreement, reserved the power to alter, amend or terminate the trust and to receive the property back from the trustee.
Revocable Living Trust: This document is similar to a will, except that it allows the person(s) you designate as successor trustee( s) to distribute your estate to your beneficiaries without the time and expense of probate court intervention.
Sole Ownership: Title to property in one name.
Summary Probate: A form of probate intended to deal with smaller estates up to $75,000 in which there are either no creditors or all creditors are known and there is a plan to pay the creditors
Testamentary: Pertaining to a will.
Testamentary Trust: A trust, set up in a will, which does not become effective until the death of the testator.
Testator: A person making a will.
Trust: The legal relationship created by virtue of one party holding legal title to property, whether real or personal, for the benefit of another.
Trustee: The person, or corporate body holding title to the trust property, appointed to execute, administer, and carry out the terms of a trust for the benefit of the beneficiary.
Trustor: Maker of a trust.
Will: The legal instrument expressing a person’s wishes and directions as to the disposition and distribution of his/her property after death.
Witness: A person who observes the signing of a will and attests to the signature.