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A & H

Accident & Health.

A & S

Accident & Sickness.

A & T

Acquisition and Divestiture.


Surviving spouse’s portion of an A-B trust.  Also known as the marital trust.

A-B Trust

A trust arrangement used for federal estate tax avoidance or mitigation, in which the deceased spouse’s estate is accounted for separately (in a bypass irrevocable trust) from the surviving spouse’s estate.   But see Portability.


Aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled.


Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.


American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys


American Academy of Financial Management.


Association of American Law Schools.


Association of Advanced Life Underwriters.


American Bar Association.


Reducing certain gifts under a will when necessary to create a fund to meet expenses, pay taxes and debts or to deal with higher priority bequests.


Aged, Blind, and/or Disabled.


Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014.


Accredited in Business Valuation.


Advisory Committee.


Advisory Committee / Trust Protector.


Affordable Care Act.  See PPACA.


Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.


An event that causes a future interest to become possessory, such as on disclaimer or application of a slayer statute.


Growth in assets, typically between execution of a will and the testator’s death and then between death and distribution of the estate.  The accessions rules govern who gets these extra assets.

Accident & Health

A generic designation for the health insurance and health insurance type products.

Accident & Sickness

A generic designation for the health insurance and health insurance type products.

Accident & Sickness Insurance

These are insurance products under which benefits are payable in case of disease, accidental injury, or accidental death of the covered person.  This is also called health insurance, personal health insurance, and health and accident insurance.

Accidental Bodily Injury

Also known as “accidental result.”  This is an injury to the body that was unexpected and unintentional by the insured person.  This requires only the result (i.e. th injury) to be unforeseen and unintentional.  This is the definition used in disability income policies.

Accidental Means

Requires both the cause and the result to be unforeseen and unintended.  This wording requires the cause to also be unforeseen and unintended.  This means a claim for a broken leg caused by running down some steps would be denied.


As defined by the California Probate Code section 21:

“Account” when used to mean a contract of deposit of funds between a depositor and a financial institution, includes a checking account, savings account, certificate of deposit, share account, mutual capital certificate, and other like arrangements.

Account Current

An account filed by a conservator of the estate which is not the final account.

Account in an Insured Credit Union

As defined in the California Probate Code section 22:

“Account in an insured credit union” means a share account in a credit union, either federally chartered or state licensed, that is insured under Title II of the Federal Credit Union Act.


The financial statement submitted to the court and to the beneficiaries by the executor (or trustee, in the case of a trust), showing all probate (or trust) assets in the state (or trust) and all transactions affecting or arising from those assets, from the time the executor or administrator (or trustee) was appointed.  Accountings are usually filed on an annual basis.


Automated Clearing House.


A testator’s affirmation that a signature is the testator’s own and that the testator made it with the intent to validate a will or other document.


American Council of Life Insurers.


American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Activities of Daily Living

Bathing, dressing, toileting, eating, medicating, and transferring into and/or out of a bed or wheelchair.

Acute Illness

A serious condition, such as pneumonia, from which the body can fully recover with proper medical attention.


All County Welfare Directors Letter.


Alzheimer’s Disease.


Accidental Death and Dismemberment.


Americans with Disabilities Act.


Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines.


Accelerated Death Benefit.


Attention Deficit Disorder.


Age Discrimination in Employment Act.


The failure of a specific bequest of property because it is no longer a part of the estate.

Ademption by Extinction

The failure of a specific bequest of property by transfer or loss of the property after the will is executed.

Ademption by Satisfaction

Testate counterpart to advancement, involving a beneficiary’s receipt during life of property or bequest that was meant to be conveyed by the donor’s will.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.


Activities of Daily Living.  These include:

Ambulating – walking.


Continence – control of bladder and bowel.

Transferring – getting into/out of bed, chair, or wheel chair.





The management of the estate of a deceased person.  The court-supervised management of an estate after death, including the distribution of the assets in your estate when death occurs intestate.

Administration Expenses

All the expenses connected with settling an estate, including executor’s or administrator’s fees, attorney’s and accountant’s fees, court fees, and the expenses related to estate property.

Administrative Infinality

One of the fantastic presumptions under the Rule Against Perpetuities.

Administrative Services Only

ASO: An insurer provides the administrative services only concerning the plan.  They determine eligibility of the claim, process claims, and make payments to providers.  However, it is the employer’s money that is used to pay the claims and not the insurers.


Title of the individual appointed by the court to probate an intestate estate.

Administrator Cum Testamento Annexa (c.t.a.)

Administrator appointed by the court to probate a will when no executor can serve.

Administrator Cum Testamento Annexo

See Administrator With Will Annexed.

Administrator De Bonis Non (d.b.n.)

Successor administrator following the death or removal of an original administrator.

Administrator With Will Annexed

Also known as Administrator CTA.  Title given to an Administrator appoint by court when there is a will.  Results because either the will fails to name an executor, or the named executor cannot, or won’t, serve.


Statutes regard adopted children as natural born, and allow children to inherit from and through their adoptive parents only (and vice versa), with certain exceptions in the case of step-parent adoptions.


Applicable Distribution Period.


Alternative Dispute Resolution.  Asset Detail Report.

Advance Health Care Directive

An instruction by a patient concerning a health care decision.  There are two general types of directives. The first, an individual health care instruction, may be oral or in writing. The second, a power of attorney for health care, must be in writing and must meet other format and content requirements. A written advance health care directive may include a nomination of the patient’s conservator.


A gift, made by an individual who later dies intestate, that is taken into account when computing the shares  of the intestate’s heirs.


Applicable Exclusion Amount.


Accredited Estate Planner.  Annual coordinated Election Period; aka open enrollment period. Association of Educational Professionals.


Applicable Fraction (Section 2641 IRC).


Aid to Families with Dependent Children.


A voluntary written statement of facts signed under penalty of perjury before a notary by an affiant with personal knowledge of those facts.

Affidavit of Trust

Affidavit setting out the essential elements of a trust without disclosing private information which is contained in the actual trust document.  This can usually be used in lieu of giving a copy of the full trust document when dealing with banks, etc.


Relationship by marriage.


Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises.


Applicable Federal Midterm Rate.


Applicable Federal Rate.  An estimated investment return that the government determines and publishes monthly.  It is used to calculate the value of gifts made to split-interest irrevocable trusts, such as charitable remainder trusts and grantor retained interest trusts, and the amount of the annuity payments in private annuities.


American Federal Tax Reports.


Attorney General.

Agent, Insurance

Represents, and is appointed by, the insurance company.  Representing the insurance company, they may not charge a broker fee. Limited Lines Automobile licensees are agents and not brokers.


Adjusted Gross Income.


American Health Care Act.


Arizona’s Medicaid Agency.


Advance Health Care Directive.


American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.


Access for Infants and Mothers.


Average Indexed Monthly Earnings.


Association of Advisors in Philanthropy.


Assumed Investment Rate.


Alaska Incomplete Gift non-grantor trust.


Assisted Living Facility.

Alien Land Laws

Relate to the right of a nonresident not a citizen heir to inherit real property in the United States, usually limited in the number of acres or the duration the property may be retained.

Alias Trust

Trust, the name of which includes an alias of the trustor.


Administrative Law Judge.

All-Or-Nothing Rule

Under the Rule Against Perpetuities relates to class gifts, in which all members’ interests must be valid or they all must fail.


A sum of cash that the court has authorized the conservator to provide to the conservatee periodically, usually monthly.  Once the allowance has been paid to the conservatee, the conservator of the estate is no longer responsible for it and does not have to show in an account what the conservatee did with the allowance money.


Arizona Long Term Care division of Arizona’s Medicaid agency, AHCCCS.

Alternative Contingencies Doctrine

A Rule Against Perpetuities convention that attempts to validate a disposition if one set of facts would make it valid and another invalid.


Assisted Living Waiver.


In several versions: patent and latent, and latent ambiguity comes in three varieties: equivocations, misdescriptions, and inaccuracies.  These usually raise the question whether extrinsic evidence may be used to resolve questions of intent.


The quality of being inoperative until death, or capable of dealing with the situation at the time of the maker’s death.

Ambulatory Surgery

Surgery performed on patients who are admitted and discharged on the day of surgery.


Written changes to a trust document.  If the changes are complex or extensive, the original trust may be restated as a new trust document incorporating all the changes but retaining the name and date of the original trust to avoid having to “re-fund” a new trust.


Anti-Money Laundering.


Alternative Minimum Tax.

Ancillary Administration

Administration of assets outside the state where a decedent was domiciled at death.

Annual Exclusion

The total amount that one can give to as many people as you want every year while you are alive without incurring a gift or estate tax.  Same as Annual Gift Tax Exclusion Amount.

Annual Gift Tax Exclusion Amount

The annual amount which may be gifted without gift tax liability.  Same as Annual Exclusion.


A provision for periodic payments.  A fixed sum of money which is paid to the annuitant for his/her life or for a fixed time period.

Antilapse Statute

A statute which prevents disposition in a will from failing due to death of beneficiary before testator.

Antenuptual Agreements

Same as Prenuptual Agreements.

Anticipatory Breach

Possible in a will contract setting in which one party proposes to violate their agreement and it is discovered before that person dies.


Statutes override or preclude certain lapsed gifts and usually apply also to void gifts, in each case by substituting representatives in the place of a deceased named beneficiary.

Anti-netting Rule

Precludes a fiduciary who invested imprudently from netting gains from prudent investments (and also may preclude netting gains from imprudent investments) against losses by the beneficiaries of an estate.


Account Owner.


Administrative Office of the Courts.


Abstract of Judgment; Administration of Justice; Agency of Original Jurisdiction.


Any Other Weapons.


Asset Protection.


Administrative Procedure Act.


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.


Advanced Practicum Implementation Program.


Automatic Premium Loan.


Asset Protection Planning.

Applicable Exclusion Amount

Formerly referred to as the unified credit, it is the tax credit allowed under the federal tax code that is applied to gift or estate taxes that may be due.

Apportionment of Estate Taxes

Default provisions under California law found in Prob. C. §§20100-20225.


Average Private Pay Rate.


A person possessing skills in determining the market value of non-cash assets.


Attending Physician’s Statement.


Asset Protection Trust.


AIDS Related Condition.  Agricultural Risk Coverage.


Advanced Nurse Practitioner.


Annual Renewable Term life insurance; Assisted Reproductive Technology.


American Society of Appraisers.  American Soybean Association.


Ambulatory Surgical Centers.

Ascertainable Standards

A limitation on distributions from a trust for the “health, education, maintenance, and support” of a beneficiary.


Annuity Starting Date.


Automobile Sales Finance Act.


Academy of Special Needs Planners.


Administrative Services Only.


An evaluation of a conservatee’s needs for care and assistance,

performed by a team of professionals with specialties such as

health, aging, and social work. The team evaluates the person’s

short-term and long-term memory and considers the conservatee’s

ability to make decisions and to carry out daily living activities.

Asset Protection

Positioning property in such a way that it is not subject to the claims of a plaintiff in a lawsuit.  In estate and business planning, corporations, limited partnerships, and certain trusts are used as asset protection devices.

Asset Protection Trust

A trust, domestic or offshore, that is designed to protect the assets of the settlor while at the  same time allowing the settlor to be a beneficiary.


Property owned, including real property and personal property.


Allows a potential heir to transfer an expectancy to a third party for consideration.


Is a third party helping a testator with execution, such as guiding the hand through a signature.  Compare Proxy Signature.

Association-Affiliated Health

Associations are professional groups, clubs, unions, or established organizations.  Association-affiliated health coverage can be through group or individual coverage.  Association-affiliated health coverage is offered to members of the organization as long as they meet membership and eligibility requirement.

An association group is allowed to purchase group insurance for its members as long as there are at least 100 members organized for a purpose other than buying insurance.  The group must have a minimum of 100 members, have been active for at least two years, have a written constitution and bylaws, and must hold at least one meeting every year.


Administrative Trust.


Aggregate Theory Agreement.

Atom Bomb Provision

Directs distribution of property undisposed of in a trust when all the named beneficiaries are deceased.


American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.


Bear witness, especially as to a will.


The act of witnessing the signing of a document by another, and the signing of a document as a witness.

Attestation Clause

A statement at the end of a will saying that the witnesses saw the testator sign, in their presence, and that they then signed in his presence and in each other’s presence.


Under a power of attorney (durable or otherwise), the person named to act as legal agent for the person who gives the power of attorney.

Augmented Probate Estate

Is a Uniform Probate Code concept by which certain non-probate property dispositions are regarded as part of the decedent’s probate estate for purposes of computing and satisfying a surviving spouse’s elective share entitlement.


Assets Under Management.


Administrative Vendor.


Alternate Valuation Date.