Estate Planning Terms

Estate Planning Terms

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Estate planning

Estate planning in simple terms is referred to as the manner in which you desire your affairs to be handled when you become old and incapacitated, and the manner by which your property (estate) will be disposed or distributed to your surviving loved ones after your death.


Many people have heard about probate but do not fully understand the concept in its entirety. Probate is a legal process by which the court validates a will, estate debts and taxes are paid, before the remaining assets get distributed to the beneficiaries of the decedent.


A will is used for the disposal of assets at one’s death. A will, also called a last will and testament, is created by a testator, stating his desires concerning his estate after he dies. In a nut-shell, a testator creates a will in order to transfer ownership of his or her property to the surviving loved ones when he or she passes away.


A trust is a legal agreement in which a trustee holds assets in a trust on behalf of the trustor. The trustor, despite being the creator of the trust, will cease having full control of such assets once they have been transferred into the trust.


Medicaid is a joint federal and state supported program that, alongside with the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), offers health coverage to more than 72.5 million Americans, including children, pregnant women, parents, seniors, and people with various degrees of disability.

Power of attorney

A power of attorney or POA for short, is a legal document that allows you, the principal, to choose another individual, called the agent or attorney-in fact to act on your behalf and make crucial decisions regarding financial and legal matters.

Reverse mortgage

A reverse mortgage is a type of loan for senior citizens at least 62 of age, whereby the individual can convert their home’s equity into spendable cash income. In simpler terms, reverse mortgage allows the individual (homeowner) get the cash value of their home’s equity.

Irrevocable trust

An irrevocable trust is a trust where its terms cannot be changed, altered, or cancelled without the consent of the beneficiaries designated by the grantor.

Special need trust

A special need trust is a legal arrangement and fiduciary  association that allows a physically or mentally incapacitated individual or an individual with chronic illness to obtain income without diminishing eligibility for the public assistance disability benefits provided by Social Security, Supplemental Security income, Medicare or Medicaid.

Health care proxy

 Health care proxy is also known as health care power of attorney. It allows you choose a person who will be making medical decision concerning you on your behalf when you are no longer capable to make these decisions yourself.


Litigation is similar to a lawsuit and it occurs when two parties go to court to argue a certain case or dispute. The parties involved in the litigation or lawsuit can be referred to as litigants.

Family law

Family law refers to that area of law that deals with matters concerning the family. These include marriage and other forms of domestic relationships, divorce, child custody, child treatment, adoption, and lots more.

Joint tenancy

Joint tenancy is when you and an individual are joint owners of a property. This property could be anything ranging from a house, vehicle, bank accounts, etc.


Prenuptial legal agreement made between two persons before marriage, agreeing to give up rights to the other partner’s property at death or divorce.


Guardianship is an important legal tool that allows another person or a legal guardian make decisions on behalf of another, typically called the ward. Financial decisions, medical, and personal decisions can be taken by the guardian; however, the best interest of the ward is important.

Juvenile delinquency

Crimes committed by minors (children under 18) may or may not be tried as an adult crime depending on the severity.

Revocable trust

The revocable trust, or revocable living trust or simply living trust, is one that can be terminated or altered at any time by the trustor.  He can choose to take away assets from the trust into his ownership once again.


A tort, in the simplest legal terms, is a civil wrong. More elaborately, a tort is an act or behavior that potentially endangers or causes serious losses to another individual or business entity.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group.

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