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Financial Literacy - Planning for your heirs
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Estate planning tool kit
Calculators, work sheets and resources for getting your estate in order.
Planning for your heirs

Estate planning glossary

26. Inheritance -- Property received from someone who has died.

27. Inheritance tax -- An assessment on the portion of an estate received by an individual. It differs from an estate tax, which is levied on an entire estate before it is distributed to individuals. The inheritance tax is usually progressive and generally determined by the amount of property received by the beneficiary, as well as by the heir's relationship to the deceased. The U.S. government levies only an estate tax. Some state governments levy inheritance and estate taxes.

28. Intestate -- Dying without a will.

29. Inter vivos gift -- A gift made while the gift-giver is alive. (Technically, “gifts” are lifetime transfers.)

30. Inter vivos trust -- Inter vivos is another way of saying living, so this refers to a living trust. A trust set up during the trust creator's lifetime. When the creator, also called the grantor, dies, it becomes irrevocable.

31. Irrevocable trust -- A trust that cannot be changed or altered. Taxable income from the trust goes to the beneficiaries or to the trust itself.

32. Issue -- Progeny or lineal descendants: children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren and so on.

33. Joint tenants with rights of survivorship -- A form of property or account ownership. When one of the joint tenants dies, his or her share of the ownership passes automatically to the other owner.

34. Letters testamentary -- A document issued by the court informing the named executor of his or her appointment and empowering him or her to settle an estate in accordance with the will.

35. Living trust -- A living trust is also known as a revocable living trust or an inter vivos trust.

36. Living will -- A legal document that allows a person to make decisions about medical treatment in advance. Living wills also include what medical treatments you would prefer and what sort of life-prolonging efforts should be made. Living wills are often created when a person has a terminal medical condition.

37. Marital deduction -- A provision for leaving property and assets to a spouse without incurring estate or inheritance taxes.

38. Medical power of attorney -- A power of attorney document that allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions for you.

39. Minor child -- A child who has not reached the age of majority, which varies from state to state. In general, someone under the age of 18.

-- Posted: Nov. 19, 2007
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