Glossary

Asset

Something the person owned that has value and could be used to pay a debt.

Asset holder

This is usually a company that looks after or manages an asset on someone's behalf.

Beneficiary

Someone who is due to inherit something from someone's estate.

Debt

A sum of money that is owed or due.

DWP

The Department for Work and Pension is the UK government department responsible for state pensions and benefits.

Estate

All the assets the person owned.

Estate administration

The process of closing all accounts, selling or transferring assets, paying off debts and taxes, and then paying out whatever is left to those who are entitled to receive it.

Executor(s)

The person or people appointed to carry out the wishes in someone's will. Where there is no will, the next of kin may need to be officially appointed by the Sheriff Court.

Grant of confirmation

An official document issued by the Sheriff Court that may be required to deal with certain assets. In the rest of the UK and abroad, this is called 'grant of probate'. Find out which forms your require.

HMRC

Formally the inland revenue, this is the UK government department responsible for the collection of taxes.

Legacy

A specific amount of money or asset left to a beneficiary in a will.

Next of kin

A spouse/civil partner or the nearest blood relative.

Residual beneficiary

The person or people entitled to receive whatever is left over in the estate after all expenses, taxes, debts, legal rights claims and legacies have been dealt with.

Share registrar

A company that basically runs a company’s share service. They act as a sort of ‘administrative intermediary’ between a shareholder and the company.

A will

A legal declaration of a person's wishes for what happens to their estate after death. In Scotland, it should be signed on every page.