Glossary of Elder Law and Estate Planning Terms
Elder Law Terms
Child Health Plus
A reduced-price health insurance plan for children under the age of 18.
Eligibility for both major government healthcare assistance programs: Medicare and Medicaid.
A subset of the legal practice specifically concerned with issues that impact the elderly.
Assistance for seniors to live comfortably in their own homes.
Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
A savings account that grows over time, intended for retirement funds
An insurance policy that pays out a planned sum of money if the policy-holder dies.
Managed Long-Term Care
Assistance for the elderly or disabled to live comfortably in their own homes.
A government program designed to help those with low incomes pay for healthcare.
Legal assistance for those planning to apply for Medicaid.
Nursing Home Planning
Legal and financial assistance for those planning to enter a nursing home.
People over the age of 65.
Estate Planning Terms
An individual’s money and possessions that are worth money.
Durable Power of Attorney
An agreement giving someone else permission to make important decisions for you in case you can’t make them yourself.
Deciding how one’s money and possessions are going to be passed on to other people after one dies.
The total value of everything someone owns—this is also called net worth.
A set of legal documents describing how one’s money and possessions are going to be passed on to other people after one dies.
A portion of money taken out of a deceased person’s estate by the government before their money and possessions are passed on to other people.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
An agreement giving someone else permission to make important healthcare decisions for you in case you can’t make them yourself.
Administration of Estates
The process wherein a qualified individual makes decisions about what will happen to a deceased person’s money and possessions if they didn’t make a legal will before they died.
A legal debate over how to interpret a deceased person’s will, particularly over who should get their money.
A person who dies without making a legal will.
Letters of Testamentary
Court documents which give a particular person the power to decide what happens to a deceased person’s money and possessions.
The long court process of proving that a will is legitimate.
A court that specifically deals with wills and how deceased people’s money and possessions are passed on.
Tenancy by the Entirety
Joint ownership of a piece of property where each person technically owns 100% of the property in order to keep possession of it if the other person dies.
Tenants in Common
Joint ownership of property where each person owns a specific portion, meaning if one person dies, their portion doesn’t automatically go to the other person.
General Legal Terms
Someone, or an organization, who will get money or property from your will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract.
A document containing changes to a will.
A person who has passed away.
A tax on a gift.
A person designated by the author of a will to carry out the will.
A will which states your exact wishes regarding your estate should you have certain medical conditions.
Someone who has already made a will.
The “Sound Mind” Requirement
This is the requirement that the person who has died knows three things: what he owns, who his family is, and what his will states.
A legal document in which you can state who shall receive your wealth. You can also use a will to appoint guardians for minors.
Decanting (of a trust)
This is when the assets in one trust are placed into another one.
A person who has the legal power to act on behalf of someone else, usually in their interest.
There are many types of trust. They are a tool to help you manage your money during your lifetime and smoothly transfer it after you die.
A type of trust designed for the passing on of wealth for multiple generations without incurring transfer taxes.
Special Needs Trusts
This is a “first-party” trust, meaning that it is created by the beneficiary. It is designed to hold the assets of the beneficiary while allowing them to receive public benefits.
A trust that needs the consent of all parties involved in order to be revoked, including the beneficiaries.
Pooled Income Trust
This type of trust enables beneficiaries to receive benefits like Medicaid while using their income for living expenses.
Revocable Living Trust
A trust that may be revoked by the person who set it up.
A person or institution who manages assets set aside by a trust. They must follow the instructions in the trust.
Someone who makes a trust.
Someone who has been appointed to act on someone else’s behalf in business or legal matters.
A crime that the law had designated to be particularly serious, and usually worthy of punishment.
The stealing of an individual’s possessions.
Someone who practices law, usually after earning a law degree.
Any person involved in a lawsuit.