trusts, inheritances & estates


Aliquot is derived from the Latin word meaning divisible from a larger whole without a remainder (i.e. divisible an exact number of times). Today, it usually means a fractional part or a share of the whole. The term aliquot...

Alternate Beneficiary

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA person, organization, or institution that receives property through a will, trust, or insurance policy when the first named beneficiary is unable or refuses to take the property. For example, in his...

Alternative Contingent Remainder

A pair of remainders that have opposite conditions precedent.


Ambiguity means language in an agreement has more than one meaning. Cases such as this one from New York explain that ambiguity in the context of a contract is defined as “whether a reasonably intelligent person looking at the contract...

Ameliorative Waste

In property law, refers to a situation where a tenant makes repairs and improvements on property that increase the value of the property, but, did not ask permission of the landowner or any future interest holders to make these improvements.


To amend is to change by adding, subtracting, or substituting. One can amend a statute, a contract, the Constitution of the United States, or a pleading filed in a law suit.

For example, Article V of the...


The relative of a particular individual from whom that individual is descended directly.

Ancillary Administration

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA probate court proceeding conducted in a different state from the one the deceased person resided in at the time of death. Usually, ancillary probate is necessary if the deceased person owned real estate...

Ancillary Probate

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionarySee: ancillary administration

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

Anti-Lapse Statute

An anti-lapse statute is a rule of construction in trusts and estates law. If a testator devises a gift to a person in his will and the devisee predeceases the testator, the anti-lapse statute will allow the gift to pass on to the devisee’s descendants...