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Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning: Definitions and Introduction

Content

This guide will provide you with a basic list and description of various print and online resources related to wills, trusts, and estate planning. Each section will contain both national and Oklahoma resources.

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Black's Law Dictionary - Definitions

The list below defines common estate planning terms.

Trust

  • The right, enforceable solely in equity, to the beneficial enjoyment of property to which another person holds the legal title; a property interest held by one person (the trustee) at the request of another (the settlor) for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary). • For a trust to be valid, it must involve specific property, reflect the settlor's intent, and be created for a lawful purpose. The two primary types of trusts are private trusts and charitable trusts."Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), available at Westlaw BLACKS.

Will

  • The legal expression of an individual's wishes about the disposition of his or her property after death; esp., a document by which a person directs his or her estate to be distributed upon death <there was no mention of his estranged brother in the will>. — Also termed testamentwill and testament; (archaically)testamentary instrument." Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), available at Westlaw BLACKS.

Estate Planning

  • The preparation for the distribution and management of a person's estate at death through the use of wills, trusts, insurance policies, and other arrangements, esp. to reduce administration costs and transfer-tax liability. Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), available at Westlaw BLACKS.
  • A branch of law that involves the arrangement of a person's estate, taking into account the laws of wills, taxes, insurance, property, and trusts." Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), available at Westlaw BLACKS.

Probate

  •    Loosely, a personal representative's actions in handling a decedent's estate. Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), available at Westlaw BLACKS.

Testacy

  •    The state or condition of a person having died with a valid will. Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), available at Westlaw BLACKS.

Testate

  •    Having left a will at death. Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), available at Westlaw BLACKS.

Intestacy

  •    The state or condition of a person's having died without a valid will. Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), available at Westlaw BLACKS.

Intestate:

  •    One who has died without a valid will. Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), available at Westlaw BLACKS.

Subject Guide

Tim Gatton
800 N. Harvey Oklahoma City, OK 73102 405.208.5271