- “estate”: Anything that you own, including books, jewelry, any land in which you have an interest.
- “personal representative”: the person who will stand in your shoes after you die in order to deal with your estate. If you die testate, an executor/executrix. If you die intestate, an administrator/administratrix.
- “trust”: a kind of legal device used by someone to give control over property owned by him or his estate for the benefit of someone or something else instead of giving that property directly to the person whom it is intended to benefit. Situations where trusts might be helpful include where minor children are involved or intended beneficiaries are spendthrifts.
- “trustee”: the person in whom confidence has been placed by the person setting up the trust to manage the property with a view to its proper preservation and or disposal, depending upon the terms of the trust. That person does not own the property for himself or herself and cannot benefit from his position unless the document which made him trustee, eg the will, expressly allows him to take a benefit for acting as trustee.
- “minor”: A minor refers to a person under the age of eighteen (18).
- “intestate”: If you do not make a valid will, then upon your death, you are deemed to have died intestate.
- “testate”: Once you have a valid will at the date of your death, you are deemed to have died testate.
- Inheriting: If you die intestate, the following persons, in the order shown, would be entitled to inherit your estate:
- ½ to your spouse and ½ to your child/children equally.
- If no spouse, all to your child/children equally;
- If spouse but no child/children, then ½ to spouse, and ½ as if you had not been married;
- If no spouse or children, then your father and mother equally or whichever of them, should any or both survive you;
- If no spouse, children or parents, then your brothers and sisters, whichever number of them survives you;
- If no spouse, children, parents or siblings, then grandparents, if any of them survives you;
- If no spouse, children, parents, siblings or grandparents, then aunts and uncles, if any of them survives you;
- If no spouse, children, parents, or grandparents, but there are children of either siblings, aunts or uncles, who at the date of your death are alive and have already turned age twenty-one (21) or already married, then those nieces and or nephews and cousins will all inherit equally;
- If there none of the persons above, then the Crown (ie Government) becomes entitled to your property.
When you die testate, your estate is inherited by the person(s) to whom you expressed your wish that it should go. You are free to choose to whom you wish your property to go. You can choose to leave money to your church, or jewelry to a friend or cousin; just about whomever you choose.
- Who becomes your personal representative:
(i)Your surviving spouse;
(ii) Your children or any of your grandchildren if their parent (your child) died before you, or any one of them;
(iii) Your brothers, sisters or children of any one of your brothers or sisters who died before you, or any one of these persons;
(iv) Your grandparents, or any one of them;
(v) Your uncles and aunts or any cousin whose parent (your uncle/aunt) died before you, or any one of them;
(vi)The Crown (Solicitor-General/Attorney-General) if none of the persons above survives you;
(vii) In relation to any person named at (ii) to (v) above, the personal representative of any of those persons is equally entitled to apply under his class. Each class has to be exhausted before moving to the next class of persons;
(viii) A creditor, that is, someone whom you owe, may also be entitled, but only as a last resort.
If you die testate, the person(s) named as your executors, or any one of them, would apply to become your personal representative. If they do not wish to do that, or are unable to, or predecease you, then certain other persons become entitled in the following order:
- a residuary beneficiary who is so named as a trustee for someone else;
- any other residuary beneficiary, or, if the residue is not wholly dispose of under the will, any person entitled to share in the undisposed of residue under the rules relating to intestacy;
- the personal representative of a residuary beneficiary;
- any other beneficiary named in the will;
- the personal representative of any other beneficiary.
Grenada Bar Association