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Glossary of Financial Terms

When exploring planned giving with ILTF staff or a trusted financial planner, you may run across new or unfamiliar terms. This glossary of terms we use might be able to help.


A contract or legal obligation to pay specified amounts over a specific period of time to a specified individual(s)in exchange for cash, securities or other tangible property.


One named in a will, trust or other legal document to receive an interest in an estate.


A direction in a will to pay over or distribute personal property, also called a legacy.

Estate Tax

A tax on the net value of property subject to tax (“taxable estate”) plus the sum “adjusted taxable gifts” at the time of a person’s death. The tax kicks in when the property holder is deemed to have the right to transfer or transmit.

Gift Tax

A tax on the donor of inter vivos (gifts made during life) and payable primarily by the donor.


The creator of a trust or other legal instrument that transfers property or benefits of property.

Insurance Trust

A trust consisting of life insurance policies or proceeds.

Irrevocable Trust

A trust that cannot be changed or dissolved.


A disposition of personal property by a will.

Life Estate

A gift of property in which the donor retains the right to use the property for life.

Life Income Agreement

A gift of a principal sum, property or securities with a stipulated life income paid to the donor or another person for his or her lifetime.

Life Income Trust

A plan whereby gift assets are placed in trust for the lifetime benefit of an income beneficiary with the remainder going to another beneficiary.

Personal Property

Assets other than land, such as tangible personal property (jewelry, artwork, antiques) and intangible personal property (stocks, bonds, notes).


The process of proving a will’s validity, commonly used to mean the administration of an estate.

Real Property

Land property-related assets, includes land and buildings.


The amount remaining in a trust after income payments have ended.

Revocable Trust

A trust that can be changed or dissolved at any time by the grantor.

Testamentary Trust

A trust established through the will of a grantor.


An arrangement in which property is held by an individual or institution for the benefit of others.


The party legally responsible for carrying out the terms and performance of a trust.


A legal instrument disposing of a person’s property at the time of his or her death.