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Reference: The 2005 Fitzroy Legal Service Law Handbook, pp 885- 900

Affidavit: A written document sworn on oath before a person with authority to administer it. The person in whose name the document is sworn is called the deponent.

Attestation Clause: A witnessing clause. For example, a will contains an attestation clause that states that the witnesses saw the testator sign and that they signed the will in the presence of the testator and each other.

Beneficiary: A person who is left something in a will, or a person for whose benefit property is held in trust by trustees or executors.

Bequeath: To distribute personal property in a will, to make a bequest.

Codicil: A document signed by the maker of a will that alters or adds to their existing will.

Estate: The property of a person who has died.

Intestate: To die without leaving a valid will. The deceased’s property is distributed to the nearest relatives in an order set by law.

Invalid: Not valid, without legal effect.

Probate: The proving of a will, the acceptance by the Probate Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria that the deceased person’s will is valid and their last will in existence.  Revoke: To cancel the instructions of an earlier will.

Witness: A person who is present when someone signs a will and who confirms that the person’s signature is genuine by adding their own signature.

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