Glossary of Terms (H-N)

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Health Care ProxySee "Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care."
HeirOne who is entitled by law to receive part of your estate.
Holographic WillA handwritten will. This type of will is not valid in all states.
Homestead ExemptionPortion of your residence (dwelling and surrounding land) that cannot be sold to satisfy a creditor’s claim while you are living.
Incapacitated/ IncompetentUnable to manage one’s own affairs, either temporarily or permanently. Lack of legal power.
Independent AdministrationA form of probate available in many (but not all) states. Intended to simplify the probate process by requiring fewer court appearances and less court supervision.
InheritanceThe assets received from someone who has died.
Inter vivosLatin term that means "between the living." An inter vivos trust is created while you are living instead of after you die. A revocable living trust is an inter vivos trust.
Irrevocable TrustA trust that cannot be changed (revoked) or cancelled once it is set up. Opposite of revocable trust.
IntestateWithout a will.
Joint OwnershipA form of ownership in which two or more persons own the same asset together. Types of joint ownership include joint tenants with right of survivorship, tenants in common, and tenants by the entirety.
Joint Tenants with Right of SurvivorshipA form of joint ownership in which the deceased owner’s share automatically and immediately transfers to the surviving joint tenant(s).
Land TrustOften used for privacy. Title is transferred to a corporate trustee or corporation, but you keep control over how the property is managed. Because the title is in the name of the corporate trustee or corporation, no one knows the property belongs to you. In all financial transactions and dealings, your personal name never comes up. Also called a title holding trust.
Liquid AssetsCash and other assets (like stocks) that can easily be converted into cash.
"Living Probate"The court-supervised process of managing the assets of one who is incapacitated. This is another name for guardianship or conservatorship.
Living TrustA written legal document that creates an entity to which you transfer ownership of your assets. Contains your instructions for managing your assets during your lifetime and for their distribution upon your incapacity or death. Avoids probate at death and court control of assets at incapacity. Also called a revocable inter vivos trust. A trust created during one’s lifetime.
Living WillA written document that states you do not wish to be kept alive by artificial means when the illness or injury is terminal.
Marital DeductionA deduction on the federal estate tax return that lets the first spouse to die leave an unlimited amount of assets to the surviving spouse free of estate taxes. However, if no other tax planning is used, and the surviving spouse’s estate is more than the amount of the federal estate tax exemption in effect at the time of his/her death, estate taxes will be due at the death of the surviving spouse.
Marital TrustSee "A Trust."
MedicaidA federally-funded health care program for the poor and minor children.
MedicareA federally-funded health care program, primarily for Americans over age 65 who are covered by Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits.
MinorOne who is under the legal age for an adult, which varies by state (usually age 18 or 21).
Net EstateThe value of an estate after all debts and administration expenses have been paid. (Federal estate taxes are based on the net value of an estate.)
Net ValueThe current market value of an asset less any loan or debt.