Demystifying Definitions That Could Definitely Derail You

BC Disability Assistance: Financial support plus medical, dental and pharmaceutical benefits provided to people with disabilities in British Columbia.

Beneficiary: A person to whom you leave things or who is entitled to receive things through a trust (money, gifts, insurance policy, RRSP, trust).

Bequest: A gift of a specific item of property or a specific amount of cash identified in your Will.

Co-Decision Maker: The person appointed by the Court, with the express agreement of an adult suffering from a significant impairment, to assist that adult in making health care or other personal decisions.

Codicil: A legal document used to amend portions of your original Will and requiring the same formalities of signing and witnessing needed for a Will.

Discretionary Trust (or Henson Trust): A trust in which the choice as to how to spend the interest and principal is completely in the hands of the trustee.

Enduring Power of Attorney: A written document giving someone else the power and authority to conduct and manage your financial affairs even if you become incapable.

Executor (or Personal Representative): The person or professional named in the Will who is responsible for ensuring that the wishes in your Will are carried out.

Grant of Probate: A court order which is the executor’s proof they can act as your executor.

Guardianship: The authority to make health, and personal care decisions on behalf of another person.

Holdback: Amount The total of government Grant and Bonds paid into the plan (or into any previous RDSP of the beneficiary) in the immediately preceding 10-year period, less any amount of Grant and Bonds paid in that 10-year period that has been repaid to the government.

Inter Vivos Trust: A trust that comes into effect during the lifetime of the person who established the trust. Also known as a Living Trust.

Intestate: A person who dies intestate dies without a valid Will.

Life Interest: Benefit given to someone in a Will which allows that person to have the use of specific property or a certain sum of money only for the lifetime of that person. The remainder goes to someone else when the person with the life interest dies.

Non-Discretionary Trust: A trust in which the beneficiary may have some control over the provisions of the trust, including how to spend the principal and interest.

Non-Probatable Assets: Assets that pass outside of the Will. For example, joint tenant ownership of real estate and bank accounts, RRSP/RRIF, life insurance, and annuities if beneficiaries have been designated.

Personal Directive: A written document giving someone else the authority to make personal care decisions on your behalf should you not have the capacity to do so.

Probate: The procedure by which the Will of the deceased person is legally approved by the court and documented. It also confirms the appointment of your Executor.

Representative: The individual appointed by an adult with disabilities to help them make financial, health and other decisions of a personal nature. NOTE: PLAN believes all adults regardless of disability have the capacity to make a Representation Agreement.

Revocation: Cancelling parts of or all of an existing Will.

Settlor: The individual who establishes a trust.

Specific Decision-Maker: The person appointed under the Adult Guardianship and Trustee Act to give or refuse treatment on behalf of another person when a Personal Directive or guardianship order does not exist.

Testator: That’s you, the person who makes the Will.

Testamentary Trust: A trust set up in a Will that only takes effect after your death.

Trust: A legal arrangement in which one person (the Settlor) transfers legal title in certain property to a Trustee to manage the property for the benefit of a person (the Beneficiary).

Trustee: The person or company that manages the trust according to the instructions in the trust agreement or Will.