Estate Planning Terms

Share This Post:

Estate Planning Terms

When purchasing a home in New York, it’s best to know certain terms to understand the language behind it all. Terms like; trusts, probate, codicil, power of attorney, etc. These definitions will make the process a lot easier and the experience livelier since you won’t be lost in between these unknown specifics, onward to your new future. With a good estate plan, you will get what you want when it comes to your finances, care for your family, and other long term goals. So it’s beneficial to know these words so it feels like you have a grasp on owning all your property, see if anything unusual sticks out on estate deal, and to also boost up a little of your vocabulary!

Definitions To Know

One term that is important to know about is, codicil, because that has something to do with a will and what you want to change in it. A will is a document that explains what your final wishes are pertaining to property, who the guardian of your children would be and other important ownership after the passing of an individual. The executor is the person chosen and responsible to make these list of wishes happen but sometimes there’s intestacy which are people who don’t even have a will that can make the decision making of ownership complicated. Codicil can also be the addition to the final will and an explanation on why this important document is being modified. For example, you may need to codicil a will because you change your mind about who you want to give your property too after your death. So you would write another will and have two witnesses sign it after the change. After the changes, you keep it together with the original or 1st will as one document. All final decisions will be made in a probate and that’s the process of the will being presented in court for examination. The examination of witnesses written down, particular circumstances, or circumstances of the person who’s writing the will all together is further studied. In the end, the court makes the decision to see if the document is valid after these professional observations.

Sometimes there’s another document that asks for certain treatment when taken to the hospital and/or in critical condition. This is the Advanced Healthcare Directive, which is the document that tells the healthcare providers certain treatment a person needs to be kept alive. This is made in case the person proposing this is unable to make decisions for him or herself if again, in critical condition. So this is something written all before it happens in preparation and is best to prevent other people making the decisions for you.

To make things more specific or even careful in estate planning, you can always get trusts for your assets. Trusts is another legal document that shows ways you want to distribute your goods towards your family. There’s the trustor, trustee, the beneficiaries or just a beneficiary, and the grantor, who approves theses trusts. The trustor is the person that makes the trust for the assets he or she is holding. The trustee is the person that holds responsibility of the trustor’s belongings all for taking care of the beneficiaries after death.  The beneficiaries are people or even an organization that will benefit from your plan.

These are important when it comes to estate planning because if you haven’t listed anyone to get your benefits then there will be a possible court case on who will. If married, there’s joint tenancy that can describe you as the co-owner of the property but if one person dies, then the other gets full ownership of their property. Then there’s guardianship. This is when a someone makes the decision to be the one who takes care of the person who’s unable to make decisions for themselves and all decisions made in court. All to take care of the person’s medical and financial situations to ensure a stable lifestyle.  Finally, there’s always using the power of attorney. If you’re confused about a case or injured in some way where you’re unable to make decisions, the power of attorney is the lawyer to help.

These are all common terms used when it comes to discussing your estate plan anywhere you are. This is all to understand the language behind with knowing what to do with all the important things you own and to plan on how your family is protected from any kind of friction after a death. Estate planning keeps the whole family away from all the difficulties on yourself or everyone involved on your behalf. Knowing these words would make the process easier and know what to suggest with what you want. This is to plan the best future for you and your families so you can keep things more stabile.


  1. Where can I store my will?

The Will needs to be stored in a sort of storage place where it can be fireproof in case of any possible fire that may occur. When it comes to protecting your money, don’t store it within the bank because they can limit access to a account after a passing. You can also file the Will with the Register of Wills.

2) Who may be appointed to handle an estate proceeding?

In a will, it’s whoever the executor is, but if there is no will, a person who qualifies to be responsible will serve as an administrator. Then either executor or administrator will handle the estate proceeding.

3) How does a executor admit a Will to a probate?

The executor must file the will and a legal copy of the decedents death certificate with the probate petition. Any other related documents pertaining to the former owner’s residence. With all this there is a filing fee and the total sum depends on the size of the estate.

4) Can I make a copy of my final Will?

You shouldn’t make more than one copy of your Will because it’ll make things more difficult if it isn’t kept in one original place. The Will should be finalized and kept with only one copy somewhere safe but if you do want a copy, you can keep one unsigned kept by a representative or someone close within the family.

5) How do I get a copy of a death certificate?

You can get your death certificate either at the funeral director, the Vital Statistics/Death Records Department in the district of death, or you can even contact someone in the Department of Health.

6. Can an irrevocable trust be amended?

One thing you can do by is to remove assets you’ve written within the trust. You will still have the trust on file but it’ll be one that is empty. There’s also booking an appointment with the court through a trustee since he or she is responsible for making any adjustments as well in the trust even if it’s irrevocable. As long as there’s a good reason for the modification.

7. How long do you have to work to collect unemployment in NY?

According to the official website, you need to be working for at least a month and in file at least $2,700 in wages.Your base period also needs to be higher than your quarter wages.

8. Should my spouse and I file a joint tax return?

When filing a joint tax return you have an easier time with filing taxes and you have a deduction of fees included. With separate accounts you and your spouse would have to do your own paperwork. With a joint tax return things would be much easier and you can save money.

9. Can I collect unemployment if I go to school?

To receive unemployment you need to document that you’re looking for work and enrolled in school to receive some benefits.

10. Can a probate be avoided?

There’s an understanding when wanting to avoid a probate and it’s due to waiting a year for courts approval or even having the courts approval rather than your own. Both these things can pile more fees on top of the file the more complicated things get through many disagreements. Though most Wills or trusts are specific which already comes with it’s complications which is why it takes a while for the probate to process. It is necessary to use the probate because if you’re looking through the file rather than an attorney, you will be prone to mistakes and more fees that the attorney could of spotted. Upcoming mistakes can also cause the filing to be longer than it should. So you shouldn’t avoid any probates.

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.

Got a Problem? Consult With Us

For Assistance, Please Give us a call or schedule a virtual appointment.