GLOSSARY

DECEDENT

A person who has died.

DECISION

The judgment rendered by a court after consideration of the facts and legal issues before it.

DECLARATION

A written statement that is unsworn but made under penalty of perjury. All declarations must be dated and signed by the declarant and must show the place of execution and name the state wherein the document was executed or otherwise, that the declaration is made under the laws of the state of California.

DECREE

A court order.

DEED

A written legal document that describes a piece of property and outlines its boundaries. The seller of a property transfers ownership by delivering the deed to the buyer in exchange for an agreed upon sum of money.

DEMURRER

A written response to a lawsuit which, in effect, pleads for dismissal on the point that even if the facts alleged were true, there is no legal basis for a lawsuit. Some causes of action may be defeated by a demurrer while others may survive. Some demurrers contend that the pleading is unclear or omits an essential element of fact. If the judge finds these errors, he/she will usually sustain the demurrer (state it is valid), but "with leave to amend" in order to allow changes to make the original pleading good.

DEPENDENT

In family law, refers to a person who is financially supported by another person, usually the parent. In juvenile law, refers to a minor who is in the custody of the court because he or she has been abused, neglected, or molested.

DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY

Developmental disability is a mental disability that begins before an individual attains age 18, that continues indefinitely, and that is substantially handicapping. Developmental disabilities include, but are not limited to, intellectual disability (fka mental retardation), cerebral palsy and autism. Handicapping conditions that are solely physical, however, are not developmental disabilities. See "limited conservatorship".

DEVISE

A legal term that now means any real or personal property that is transferred under the terms of a will. Previously, the term only referred to real property.

DEVISEE

A person or entity who receives real or personal property under the terms of a will.

DIRECTIVE TO PHYSICIAN

A document which authorized termination of life support under specified conditions. California's variation of a Living Will.

DISBURSEMENTS

The act of paying out money, commonly from a fund or in settlement of a debt or account payable.

DISCHARGE

The term used to describe the court order releasing the administrator or executor from any further duties regarding the estate being subjected to probate proceedings. This typically occurs when the duties have been completed but can also happen in the middle of the probate proceeding when the executor or administrator wishes to withdraw or is removed.

DISCLAIMER

The repudiation or renunciation of a claim or power vested in a person or which he/she formerly alleged to have. The disavowal, denial, or renunciation of an interest, right, or property imputed to a person or alleged to be his/hers.

DISTRIBUTEE

Someone who receives property from an estate.

domicile

Domicile refers to the place you call home permanently. Your domicile is important for legal purposes such as paying taxes, voting, and claiming benefits. Residence and domicile have different legal definitions and are differentiated primarily by the length of time you plan to live in a specific location

DONEE

One who receives a gift. Thus, the beneficiary of a trust is generally referred to as the donee.

DONOR

One who, while alive, gives property to another, in the form of a trust.

DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY

A written legal document that lets an individual designate another person to act on his or her behalf, even in the event the individual becomes disabled or incapacitated.

DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTHCARE

A written legal document that allows an individual to designate another person to act on his or her behalf with regard to their healthcare decisions.

Ready to make a will?

Don't delay! Sign up for the wills.com guided experience to get started, and we will help you to quickly complete your will.