Glossary

s

Sales Commission

In real estate, this is the amount that a sales agent will charge for marketing, showing, and closing the sale of a property. It is typically a pre-determined percentage of the final sales price.

Secret Trust

A secret trust occurs when a gift is made in a will, but evidence is presented to the probate court that instead of a gift, the deceased gave the property to the beneficiary in trust for another. For example, if the deceased in a will gives a pocket watch to his daughter, but evidence is presented to the probate court that the daughter was to hold the watch in trust for her son (the deceased’s grandson), that would be considered a secret trust.

Semi-Secret Trust

A semi-secret trust occurs when a gift is made in a will and the will states the property is to be placed in trust, but a beneficiary for the gift is not named. When this happens, the property passes into a resulting trust and is distributed to the heirs of the deceased.

Settlor

A settlor is the person who establishes a trust.

SNAP

A government food program known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Plan. The program provides money for food to eligible low-income people.

Specific Legacy

A specific legacy is a gift of personal property designated in a will. If the specific item is not in the estate at the time of death, the gift is deemed to be revoked. Therefore, the estate would not have to purchase a similar item to give in its place. If evidence is presented, though, that convinces the court that the gift was intended even if the item was not in the estate at the time of death, the court can order the item to be acquired with the general funds of the estate and given to the beneficiary.

Successor Executor

It is possible for a person serving as executor to die during the time in which he or she is performing the duties of executor. It also is possible for the person named as executor to decline to serve in this role. The successor executor is a person named to serve as executor in the will only if the first person named does not serve.

Successor Trustee

Because trusts can last for many years, it is possible that a trustee might die or become incapacitated while serving. The trust is then administered by a successor trustee, a trustee who assumes the role of the trustee before him or her.