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Estate Planning Glossary

Intestacy
You are “intestate” if you die without a will or trust. If this occurs, then state laws determine who inherits what when you die.

Testator/Testatrix
A testator (male) or a testatrix (female) is the person who creates a will.

Trust
A trust is a legal agreement or contract. A revocable living trust is often used in estate planning. “Revocable” means that you can change or amend it at any time; “living” means that you create it and benefit from it while you’re alive; and “trust” is an agreement. Think of a trust as a set of instructions.

Beneficiary
A beneficiary is a person who will benefit from your estate planning instructions, whether through a gift in a will or instructions in a trust.

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