Glossary c

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Closing costs

Fees due upon the sale of a property in order to close the sale. Costs can include taxes, appraisal fees, origination fees, and title insurance.

Closing statement

This statement lists the total costs paid by both a seller and buyer when closing on a property.

Codicil

A codicil is supplemental information or instruction added to a will after it is written. You can think of it like a post script (P.S.) in a letter. It is written after the letter and provides additional information.

Comparable property

Also referred to as “comps,” these are properties that appraisers use to help estimate the market value of a property. These properties must be similar in condition, size, location, and amenities in order to be used as comparable property. Guidelines as to what can be considered a comparable property are set by The Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

Conditional Will

Conditional wills are very uncommon. A conditional will is one that is prepared in anticipation of a specific event and is only used if that event occurs. For example, a person might have a will prepared that states, “I am chartering a plane to fly to Key West for vacation. If I die in this plane, this is my last will and testament.” If the person dies on the plane, the will might be in place, but if the person dies while in Key West and not on the plane, the will might not apply.

Conservator

A conservator is a person appointed by the court to act as a guardian for the purpose of managing the care and/or finances of another who is unable to do it for him or herself because of age or mental incapacity.

Constructive Trust

A constructive trust is a trust in which the person who currently possesses the property must transfer it to another.

Continuing Trust

A continuing trust is one that lasts beyond the life of the person who created it. Therefore, the assets of the trust are not distributed immediately upon the death of the person establishing it, but rather they are distributed at some later point that is usually set out in the establishing documentation. For example, a continuing trust document might set out that instead of the beneficiaries gaining access to the trust assets immediately upon the death of the person who set up the trust, the beneficiaries will gain access when they turn 25 or graduate college, whichever comes first.

Cremains

The word cremains refers to the cremated remains of a decedent. In cremation, the body of a decedent is burned and the ashes, referred to as cremains, are returned to the family. Depending on the wishes of the deceased, cremains may be kept in an urn in a home, placed in an urn in a memorial location or spread in a place that was meaningful to the deceased.

Crematorium

A facility that cremates a body by placing it into a combustion chamber that incinerates a body until only small bone fragments and ashes remain.

Crypt

A space in a mausoleum or other building that holds cremated remains or a casket.

Custodian

An individual who keeps and protects something if value on behalf of others.