Glossary of Legal Terms

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The people named in the Will to inherit from the estate of the person who has died.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

A certified financial planner (CFP) is someone who provides financial planning advice to individuals. They can aid with investing, estate planning, tax law and planning for retirement.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)

A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is an individual who has successfully completed the CFA Institute’s program, including passing the three-part CFA exam. This certification signifies expertise in investment tools, asset valuation, portfolio management, and wealth planning. To become a CFA, one must have a bachelor’s degree or accumulate 4,000 hours of relevant work experience within 36 months.


Items left in a property such as furniture or white goods.


Investment churning refers to excessive buying and selling of financial assets within a portfolio by a broker or investment advisor. This practice is often driven by a desire to generate more commissions or fees for the intermediary, rather than serving the best interests of the investor.

Conduct of Business Sourcebook Rules (COBS)

The Conduct of Business Sourcebook Rules (COBS) are a set of regulations and guidelines established by financial regulators, outlining conduct standards and requirements for financial firms when dealing with clients and managing financial products and services.

Collective Investment Scheme

A collective investment scheme is a pooled investment vehicle where funds from multiple investors are combined to collectively invest in a diversified portfolio of securities or other financial instruments, managed by a professional fund manager.


The legal document setting out the terms and details of a property purchase.


The transfer of the legal title of a property from one person to another.


A specific restriction or obligation attached to a property. An obligation requires you to do something, such as maintenance, whereas a restriction prevents you from doing something.

Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) Part 7

Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) Part 7 governs the procedure for initiating legal proceedings. It outlines the process for starting proceedings by issuing a claim form, the particulars of claim required, methods of service, extensions of time, and other related matters. Typically claims follow the Part 7 procedure through the court system in cases where there is a dispute over facts.

Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) Part 8

Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) Part 8 outlines an alternative procedure for claims where substantial disputes of fact are unlikely. The procedure involves filing a claim form with specified contents, acknowledging service, and presenting written evidence. Part 8 is usually quicker.


A disbursement is an expense made as part of your move. For example, the cost of the local authority search carried out on the property.

Discretionary Trust

A discretionary trust is a legal arrangement where a trustee holds and manages assets on behalf of beneficiaries, and decisions regarding the distribution of income and capital are made at the trustee’s discretion, providing flexibility in benefit allocation.


An easement is a legal right that allows one party to use or access another party’s property for a specific purpose, such as crossing the land or using a portion of it, without owning the property.


The amount that you actually own in your home, as opposed to the amount left to pay to the mortgage lender.


All of the assets and belongings of the person who died, including property, shares, and savings.


An Executor is the person or people named in a Will to deal with the estate.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The Financial Conduct Authority is the regulatory body for financial services and advisors. Your advisor should be on the FCA register, which you can check online.

Fiduciary Duty

Fiduciary duty refers to the legal obligation of an individual or entity, known as the fiduciary, to act in the best interests of another person or group, known as the beneficiary. The fiduciary is expected to prioritize the interests of the beneficiary above their own.

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a non-governmental organization authorized by the U.S. government to regulate and oversee brokerage firms and their registered representatives, aiming to protect investors and maintain market integrity.

Financial Mis-Selling

Mis-selling occurs when you are sold a product by a financial advisor that is unsuitable or involves too much risk for your circumstances.

Fractional Investment

Fractional investment refers to the practice of purchasing a portion or fraction of a financial asset, such as stocks, real estate, or cryptocurrencies, enabling investors to own a share of the asset without buying it in its entirety. This allows for more accessible and affordable investment opportunities.


The complete ownership of an area of land and everything built on it. For example, a house and the land around it, rather than one part of the house. Ownership of a freehold effectively lasts forever, or until you sell the property.

Grant of Letters of Administration

The Grant needed if the person who died did not leave a valid Will. The person specified as the Administrator of the Will in the Grant is given authority to deal with the assets.

Grant of Probate

A Grant of Probate gives the Executors of the Will the authority to deal with assets such as bank accounts, shares, and property.


Introducers are not qualified financial advisors. There are a range of introducers who carry out the roles of brokers and sometimes introduce people into unsuitable schemes.


Often used for apartments, a lease will have a ‘term’, which is the length of time which you own the lease. Technically, once this term is over, the lease of your flat or maisonette would return to the freeholder.

Local Authority Searches

This is a search that is conducted to make sure that there aren’t any current enforcement actions being taken by the local authority over the property.

Life Interest Trust

A life interest trust is a legal arrangement in which a beneficiary (the life tenant) has the right to receive income or benefits from a trust’s assets during their lifetime, but the assets themselves ultimately pass to another beneficiary or beneficiaries upon the life tenant’s death.

Mortgage Agreement in Principle

A mortgage in principle is a form of pre-approval from a mortgage lender. It will show your budget and show sellers that you are a serious buyer.

Non-molestation Orders

A non-molestation order is a legal injunction issued by a court to prevent an individual from engaging in threatening, violent, or harassing behaviour towards another person. It aims to protect the victim from further harm or harassment.

“Of Good Standing”

“In good standing” in a legal context typically refers to a person or entity that is in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements, possessing a favorable standing or status. It indicates that the individual or organization has met the necessary criteria to maintain their legal rights, privileges, or professional qualifications.

Ponzi Scheme

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment scam where returns to existing investors are paid using funds from new investors rather than profit earned by the operation of a legitimate business. The scheme leads investors to believe that profits are coming from legitimate business activities when, in fact, they are coming from the continuous recruitment of new investors.

Redemption Statement

This is required when you want to change or cancel your mortgage. We will help you with this if you are selling one property and purchasing another and need to move your mortgage over. The statement shows the amount that will have to be paid to your mortgage lender when the sale completes.

Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)

A Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) is a financial professional or firm that is registered with the appropriate regulatory authorities and provides investment advice to clients in exchange for a fee. RIAs are legally obligated to act in their clients’ best interests, adhering to fiduciary standards.

Risk Tolerance

Risk tolerance refers to an individual’s or investor’s ability and willingness to endure or handle the uncertainty or potential losses associated with an investment, reflecting their comfort level with various levels of risk.


A “satoshi” is the smallest unit of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, representing one hundred millionth of a Bitcoin (0.00000001 BTC). It is named after Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin.


Searches are thorough investigations of a property on behalf of a clients. These ‘searches’ will highlight any potential issues with the property. These include local authority searches and water searches. A report of the findings is then sent to the client before they proceed with the purchase.

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a U.S. government agency responsible for regulating and overseeing the securities industry, safeguarding investors, and maintaining fair and efficient markets.

Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP)

Self Invested Personal Pensions give consumers greater freedom to invest where they like and in what they like, including in higher risk products. This could lead to taking a far greater risk with your pension than you are either comfortable with or have the financial capacity to deal with.

Specific Issue Order

A specific issue order is a legal directive issued by a court to address and resolve a specific aspect or dispute related to the upbringing of a child, such as decisions about education, medical treatment, or other specific issues.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)

SDLT is a tax charged by the government on all properties with a purchase price over £250,000 or £425,000 for first-time buyers (buying a residential property worth £625,000 or less). The rate of SDLT increases with the price of the property.

Title Deeds

These deeds prove ownership of a property.

Tort Law

Tort law is a branch of civil law that deals with legal wrongs or civil wrongs that cause harm or loss to individuals. It provides a framework for individuals to seek compensation for injuries or damages resulting from the wrongful actions of others.

Transfer Deed

This deed legally transfers a property into someone’s name. We will arrange for you to sign your transfer deed.

Transfer of Equity

This is a legal document which transfers the ownership of a share or interest in a property to another person.


A trustee is an individual or entity appointed to manage and administer assets, funds, or property on behalf of others, known as beneficiaries, according to the terms outlined in a trust agreement. Trustees are obligated to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries and follow the instructions specified in the trust.

Trust Event

A trust event refers to a significant occurrence or triggering event specified in a trust agreement, often influencing the administration, distribution, or terms of the trust.