Date: 14 September 2015

Legal Jargon Buster

Legal Jargon Buster by Best Solicitors:

We know the law can sometimes be confusing. All the legal jargon that’s thrown about can leave you in a spin, so we’ve added these helpful definitions to a legal jargon buster so that you know exactly where you stand.

Alternatively, you can download our Jargon Busting with Best Solicitors by clicking on the link.

If you have a question or would like help understanding you case, call us on 0114 281 3636. We’re here to help!

Administrator

A person appointed by the court to take care of the estate if a Will has not been made by the deceased.

Agent

Someone who acts on behalf of someone else in a legal capacity.

Assets

Anything you own of value including property and land, investments, cash, and items such as paintings, antiques or valuable jewellery.

Attorney

A person or persons appointed under a Power of Attorney with authority to carry out certain actions on your behalf.

Barrister

A lawyer regulated by the Bar Standards Board, often specialising in court room representation.

Beneficiary

A person or institution (a charity, for example) who is due to receive assets under a Will, Trust or intestacy.

Counsel

A term used to describe a barrister.

Creditor

A person or organisation to whom money is owed.

Debtor

A person or corporate body that owes money to another.

Estate

Any assets owned by you (including your share of joint assets) or the value of anything held in trust that you are a beneficiary of.

Executor

The person(s) named in a Will to administer your estate after your death.

Fixed Fees

The fee agreed with a solicitor for a service based on agreed terms and conditions at the point of signing a contract.

Indemnity

Compensation for or protection against the loss or damages that might be incurred by one within a contract.

Joint Tenancy

A legal agreement for property owned by two or more people.

Legacy

A gift included in a Will that is either a fixed sum of money or a specific item or asset.

Legatee

The term used to describe that type of beneficiary.

Legal Aid

Legal aid can help meet the costs of legal advice should you meet certain criteria.

You’ll usually need to show that:

  • the problem is serious
  • you can’t afford to pay for legal costs

You could for example get legal aid if:

  • you or your family are at risk of abuse or serious harm, eg domestic violence or forced marriage
  • you’re at risk of homelessness or losing your home
  • you’ve been accused of a crime, face prison or detention
  • you’re being discriminated against
  • you need family mediation
  • you’re adding legal arguments or bringing a case under the Human Rights Act

You may have to pay some money towards the legal costs of your case or pay costs back later.

Your legal adviser will usually apply for legal aid on your behalf.

Liability

Can mean something that is a hindrance or puts an individual or group at a disadvantage, or it can be something a person is responsible for

Paralegal

A broad term sometimes used to describe someone who supports lawyers in their work.

Probate

The legal process by which the estate of a deceased person is administered according to theterms of their will or the intestacy laws.

Solicitor

A lawyer who has been admitted as a solicitor by the SRA and whose name appears on the roll of solicitors.

Think something is missing from our Legal Jargon Buster? Let us know!

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