Glossary of Elder Law Terms
Definitions that may be of further help
Elder law encompasses many legal practices, a great many laws and regulations and an even greater number of legal terms. The definitions below are offered in amplification of the basic terms you will encounter on our site or in further research.
If you need further articulation or don't see what you're looking for, please do not hesitate to call us at 727-683-1483, or contact us online. Thank you for visiting with us.
Agent: A person authorized to act on behalf of another person.
Appraiser: A professional who determines the value of hard-to-value assets for tax, probate and trust administration purposes.
Beneficiary: A person entitled to receive benefits from a trust or estate.
Conservatorships/Guardianships: A legally recognized role in which an individual or entity manages the affairs of an incapacitated person.
Decedent: A deceased person.
Executor: In Florida, the person charged with administering the estate of a deceased person is referred to as the executor or personal representative.
Funding a trust: Transferring ownership of property to a trust.
General durable power of attorney: This is a general power of attorney that remains valid even during your incapacity.
General partner: One or more persons carrying on a business for profit as a partnership or limited partnership, having personal liability for all debts of the partnership, and, if in a limited partnership, having control of operations of the partnership.
General power of attorney: Provides someone else (your agent) with the authority to act on your behalf. It says that at any time — and in just about any capacity — your agent can conduct business in your name. The agent can be given great discretion.
Gift: A voluntary, gratuitous transfer of property made to another person.
Gifting language: Special language that may be drafted and included with your trust document and power of attorney to give authority to gift assets to accomplish planning goals.
Grantor: The creator of a trust.
Health care power of attorney: This type of power of attorney outlines the specific medical decisions that you would like to see made in the event of your incapacity and appoints an agent to carry out your wishes.
Intestate: Dying without a will or trust is referred to as intestacy.
Limited partner: One or more persons associated in a limited partnership, having no personal liability for the debts of the partnership beyond his or her partnership investment, and having no direct control over operations of the limited partnership.
Living trust: An estate plan that unlike a will may avoid probate.
Medicaid triggers: These are events which put into motion the shift of assets out of the name of the person who is incapacitated in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits.
Power of attorney: A document authorizing one person, the "agent" or "attorney-in-fact," to act on behalf of another person, the "principal."
Principal: A person who has appointed another person as his or her "agent," to act on his or her behalf.
Probate: The legal process which distributes the assets of an estate and settles its debts and taxes.
Successor trustee: Any person appointed to handle a trust after the incapacity or death of the grantor.
Surviving grantor/trustee: If the trust was a joint trust and one of the parties dies and the other is still alive, the surviving party is known as the surviving grantor. If the surviving party continues in his or her role as manager of the trust, then he or she also acts as the surviving trustee.
Trust administration: The process of following a trust's instructions after the death of the grantor.
Trustee: The person who manages assets owned by a trust under the terms of the trust.