A-B Trust

A trust which splits into two trusts when the first spouse dies. One of the trusts takes just enough of the decedent’s assets so that the estate can take advantage of tax credits, with the goal of minimizing estate taxes.


A financial statement of debits and credits, detailing the manner in which anexecutor, administrator, or trustee has performed their duties.

Accumulation Trust

A trust into which the trustee accumulates income and gains from sales of other assets or distributions from other accounts for final disposition with the principal when the trust terminates.


A person appointed by the probate court to manage the assets and liabilities of an intestate decedent.

Advanced Healthcare Directive

A legal document explaining one’s wishes about medical treatment if one becomes incompetent or unable to communicate, often designating a surrogate decision-maker for healthcare matters.

Affidavit of Death

A sworn statement that an individual has passed away. If a trustee passes away, there is a specific form to use. Often, an Affidavit of Death must incorporate the Death Certificate.

Ancillary Probate

Probate proceedings in a state other than the one where the decedentpassed away. The main probate proceeding occurs in the state where the decedent passed away, but if the decedent owned property in another state, ancillary probate must take place within the...


A tangible or intangible item which is owned and has value.

Attestation Clause

A clause in a will which is signed by disinterested witnesses under penalty of perjury, which swears that all statutory requirements for validly executing the willhave been satisfied. This clause often appears just below the testator’s signature on the will. In...

Attested Will

A will which contains an attestation clause and has been signed bydisinterested witnesses under penalty of perjury. In California, an attested will is considered “self-proving”.


A person for whom property is held, e.g., in a trust, or who is to receive something as a result of a legal instrument, e.g., a will or insurance policy.


A written promise to pay money or do some act if certain circumstances occur or a certain amount of time lapses. Often, administrators, executors, and trustees are required to post a bond before a Court will grant them authority. This is meant to insure beneficiaries...

Bond Waiver

An excuse from the obligation of having to post a bond, for an administrator, executor, or trustee. A will or trust itself may authorize a bond waiver, or the relevant parties may all agree to a bond waiver.

Charitable Organization

An organization that operates exclusively for religious, scientific, literary, educational, athletic, public-safety, or community services purposes, and which satisfies the conditions for 501(c)(3) tax exemption.

Charitable Trust

A trust created to benefit one or more specific charitable organizations or the general public rather than a private individual or entity.


A separate and distinct provision in a legal document.


A person who is appointed as a joint executor to a will.