Beneficiary –The person or entity named in the will or trust to receive assets.
Executors or Personal Representative – This is the person(s)who administers a person’s estate upon their death. They ensure that the wishes laid out in the will of the deceased person are carried out.
Funding – Funding means transferring ownership of assets from the Trustor, Grantor, Settlor to the Trustee of the Trust so the Trustee can manage the assets under the terms of the Trust. Funding is the key activity that allows a Trust to avoid probate. Without Funding the trust, the probate assets will need to proceed through the probate court process before transfer into the trust.
Guardians – This is the person(s)who will take legal guardianship of minor children upon the death or incapacity of their parents.
Non-Probate Assets – Assets that pass to someone else at the time of your death by some legally recognized process or agreement without undergoing the probate court process. Example, life insurance beneficiary designation or property owned by your revocable living trust.
Successor Trustee – This is the person(s) who assumes the Trustee role after the initial trustee dies or is unable to continue in their role or responsibilities as trustee.
Trustor, Grantor, Settlor – These interchangeable terms, simply mean the creator of the trust.
Trustee – This is the person(s) who acts as the legal owner of the trust assets. The trustee will manage property or investments, handle the tax filings, and also distribute the assets according to the terms of the trust. The Trustee’s duties can vary depending on what assets are owned by the trust. Generally, when creating a Revocable Trust, you (the Trustor, Grantor, Settlor, Testator) will serve as the Trustee during your lifetime.
Probate Assets – Assets you own at the time of your death that do not pass to anyone else at the time of your death by any other means except through the probate court process. Example automobile titled in your name only, bank account owned only by you.