Bankrate's financial glossary
Did you run across an unfamiliar term when applying for a mortgage, credit card
or auto loan? Find the meaning here, along with definitions of other financial words
and phrases, in Bankrate.com's financial glossary.
Personal and family finance terms
Accelerated cost recovery system
Commonly referred to as ACRS (prounounced "acres"), a method of depreciating property rapidly for tax purposes. ACRS property is divided into classes and each class has a predetermined time period over which it may be depreciated. ACRS generally is used for property placed in service after 1980 and by Dec. 31, 1986. Subsequent property must be depreciated under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS).
A bookeeping method that allows an owner to deduct a greater portion of the cost of depreciated property in the years right after it is bought.
Accident and health insurance
Coverage that pays benefits in case of sickness, accidental injury or accidental death. It sometimes provides for loss of income or debt payment if taken out in connection with a loan.
Actively managed fund
A fund that uses a manager or team to analyze securities and try to beat the market return. The opposite of active management is passive management, found in index funds.
A person who calculates statistically risks, premiums, life expectancies and other factors for insurance firms.
Additional monthly benefit
Addendum to a disability income policy that provides an extra monthly stipend in the first year of injury, before Social Security benefits start.
Something that happens when property is bequeathed that is no longer in the estate. If person A dies and the will states that person B gets a grandfather clock and the clock is no longer in the estate, then person B gets nothing and the property is adeemed.
A person appointed by the probate court to handle the distribution of property for a person who has died intestate. Some wills also neglect to name an administrator, so the court appoints someone for them as well.
Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number
Parents in the process of a domestic U.S. adoption who do not have and/or are unable to obtain the child's Social Security number (SSN) should request an adoption taxpayer identification number (ATIN) from the IRS to claim the child as a dependent and (if eligible) to claim the child care credit. Form W-7A, application for taxpayer identification number for pending adoptions, is used by qualifying taxpayers to obtain an ATIN.