Part 1 Rights of Surviving Spouse
Part 3 Rights of Family Unit
Part 4 Rights of Members of Family Resulting From Wrongful Act, Neglect or Default Causing Death of Decedent

Terms Used In New York Laws > Estates, Powers and Trusts > Article 5

  • Acquittal:
    1. Judgement that a criminal defendant has not been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
    2. A verdict of "not guilty."
     
  • Advice and consent: Under the Constitution, presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts take effect only when confirmed by the Senate, and international treaties become effective only when the Senate approves them by a two-thirds vote.
  • Advisory council: shall mean the state heritage areas advisory council established under article thirty-three of this title. See N.Y. Parks, recreation and historic preservation Law 31.01
  • Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
  • Affirmed: In the practice of the appellate courts, the decree or order is declared valid and will stand as rendered in the lower court.
  • Agent: means a person granted authority to act as attorney-in-fact for the principal under a power of attorney, and includes the original agent and any co-agent or successor agent. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Amendment: A proposal to alter the text of a pending bill or other measure by striking out some of it, by inserting new language, or both. Before an amendment becomes part of the measure, thelegislature must agree to it.
  • Annuity: A periodic (usually annual) payment of a fixed sum of money for either the life of the recipient or for a fixed number of years. A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.
  • Answer: The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Appraisal: A determination of property value.
  • Appropriation: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization
  • Arraignment: A proceeding in which an individual who is accused of committing a crime is brought into court, told of the charges, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.
  • Assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • Attorney-in-fact: A person who, acting as an agent, is given written authorization by another person to transact business for him (her) out of court.
  • Bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
  • Bankruptcy: Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
  • Beneficiary: A person who is entitled to receive the benefits or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract. Source: OCC
  • Capacity: means ability to comprehend the nature and consequences of the act of executing and granting, revoking, amending or modifying a power of attorney, any provision in a power of attorney, or the authority of any person to act as agent under a power of attorney. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Common law: The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
  • Compensation: means reasonable compensation authorized to be paid to the agent from assets of the principal for services actually rendered by the agent pursuant to the authority granted in a power of attorney. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
  • Continuance: Putting off of a hearing ot trial until a later time.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
  • Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
  • Counterclaim: A claim that a defendant makes against a plaintiff.
  • Cross examine: Questioning of a witness by the attorney for the other side.
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Decedent: A deceased person.
  • Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Deposition: An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
  • Discovery: Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
  • Donee: The recipient of a gift.
  • Dower: A widow
  • Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
  • Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
  • Euro: shall mean the currency of participating member states of the European Union that adopt a single currency in accordance with the treaty on European Union signed February seventh, nineteen hundred ninety-two. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1601
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
  • Fair market value: The price at which an asset would change hands in a transaction between a willing, informed buyer and a willing, informed seller.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • Financial institution: means a financial entity, including, but not limited to: a bank, trust company, national bank, savings bank, federal mutual savings bank, savings and loan association, federal savings and loan association, federal mutual savings and loan association, credit union, federal credit union, branch of a foreign banking corporation, public pension fund, retirement system, securities broker, securities dealer, securities firm, and insurance company. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Fiscal year: The fiscal year is the accounting period for the government. For the federal government, this begins on October 1 and ends on September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 2006 begins on October 1, 2005 and ends on September 30, 2006.
  • Foreclosure: A legal process in which property that is collateral or security for a loan may be sold to help repay the loan when the loan is in default. Source: OCC
  • Fraud: Intentional deception resulting in injury to another.
  • Fuel set-aside: means the amount of liquid fossil fuel which is made available from the total supply of a prime supplier for utilization by the state energy office pursuant to this article to resolve hardships and emergencies due to energy shortages. See N.Y. Energy Law 10-103
  • Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
  • Grantor: The person who establishes a trust and places property into it.
  • Gross estate: The total fair market value of all property and property interests, real and personal, tangible and intangible, of which a decedent had beneficial ownership at the time of death before subtractions for deductions, debts, administrative expenses, and casualty losses suffered during estate administration.
  • Guarantor: A party who agrees to be responsible for the payment of another party's debts should that party default. Source: OCC
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Heritage area: shall mean a definable urban or regional area of public and private uses ranging in size from a portion of a municipality to a regional area with a special coherence, such area being distinguished by physical and cultural resources (natural and/or man made including waterways, architecture, or artifacts reflecting a period of style or cultural heritage) which play a vital role in the life of the community and/or region and contribute through interpretive, educational and recreational use to the public. See N.Y. Parks, recreation and historic preservation Law 31.01
  • Incapacitated: means to be without capacity. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Indemnification: In general, a collateral contract or assurance under which one person agrees to secure another person against either anticipated financial losses or potential adverse legal consequences. Source: FDIC
  • Indictment: The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.
  • Inter vivos: Transfer of property from one living person to another living person.
  • Internal Revenue Code: means the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Interrogatories: Written questions asked by one party of an opposing party, who must answer them in writing under oath; a discovery device in a lawsuit.
  • Intestate: Dying without leaving a will.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
  • Legacy: A gift of property made by will.
  • Legatee: A beneficiary of a decedent
  • Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
  • Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
  • Life estate: A property interest limited in duration to the life of the individual holding the interest (life tenant).
  • Liquid fossil fuel: means heating oils, light and heavy diesel oil, motor gasoline, methanol, propane, butane, residual fuel oils, kerosene and aviation fuels. See N.Y. Energy Law 10-103
  • Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
  • Majority leader: see Floor Leaders
  • Minority leader: See Floor Leaders
  • Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
  • Mistrial: An invalid trial, caused by fundamental error. When a mistrial is declared, the trial must start again from the selection of the jury.
  • Monitor: means a person appointed in the power of attorney who has the authority to request, receive, and seek to compel the agent to provide a record of all receipts, disbursements, and transactions entered into by the agent on behalf of the principal. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Mortgage: The written agreement pledging property to a creditor as collateral for a loan.
  • Mortgagee: The person to whom property is mortgaged and who has loaned the money.
  • Non-statutory power of attorney: means a power of attorney that is not a statutory short form power of attorney. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Oath: A promise to tell the truth.
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
  • patronage: means the amount of work performed as a member of a worker cooperative, measured in accordance with the certificate of incorporation and by-laws. See N.Y. Cooperative Corporations Law 90
  • Person: means an individual, whether acting for himself or herself, or as a fiduciary or as an official of any legal, governmental or commercial entity (including, but not limited to, any such entity identified in this subdivision), corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, government, governmental subdivision, government agency, government entity, government instrumentality, public corporation, or any other legal or commercial entity. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
  • Plea: In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges, a declaration made in open court.
  • Pleadings: Written statements of the parties in a civil case of their positions. In the federal courts, the principal pleadings are the complaint and the answer.
  • Power of attorney: means a written document, other than a document referred to in section 5-1501C of this title, by which a principal with capacity designates an agent to act on his or her behalf. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Power of attorney: A written instrument which authorizes one person to act as another's agent or attorney. The power of attorney may be for a definite, specific act, or it may be general in nature. The terms of the written power of attorney may specify when it will expire. If not, the power of attorney usually expires when the person granting it dies. Source: OCC
  • Principal: means an individual who is eighteen years of age or older, acting for himself or herself and not as a fiduciary or as an official of any legal, governmental or commercial entity, who executes a power of attorney. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Probate: Proving a will
  • Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
  • Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
  • Quorum: The number of legislators that must be present to do business.
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
  • Record: means information that is inscribed on a tangible medium or that is stored in an electronic or other medium and is retrievable in perceivable form. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Recourse: An arrangement in which a bank retains, in form or in substance, any credit risk directly or indirectly associated with an asset it has sold (in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles) that exceeds a pro rata share of the bank's claim on the asset. If a bank has no claim on an asset it has sold, then the retention of any credit risk is recourse. Source: FDIC
  • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
  • Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
  • Right of survivorship: The ownership rights that result in the acquisition of title to property by reason of having survived other co-owners.
  • Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
  • Sign: means to place any memorandum, mark or sign, written, printed, stamped, photographed, engraved or otherwise upon an instrument or writing, or to use an electronic signature as that term is defined in subdivision three of section three hundred two of the state technology law, with the intent to execute the instrument, writing or electronic record. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
  • Statute of limitations: A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights.
  • Statutory short form power of attorney: means a power of attorney that meets the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of subdivision one of section 5-1501B of this title, and that substantially conforms to the wording of the form set forth in section 5-1513 of this title; provided however, that any section indicated as "Optional" that is not used may be omitted and replaced by the words "Intentionally Omitted". See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
  • Subpoena duces tecum: A command to a witness to produce documents.
  • Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
  • System: means the New York system of heritage areas established pursuant to section 35. See N.Y. Parks, recreation and historic preservation Law 31.01
  • Testator: A male person who leaves a will at death.
  • Testify: Answer questions in court.
  • Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
  • Third party: means a financial institution or person other than a principal or an agent. See N.Y. General Obligations Law 5-1501
  • Tort: A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person, as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
  • Trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
  • Uniform Commercial Code: A set of statutes enacted by the various states to provide consistency among the states' commercial laws. It includes negotiable instruments, sales, stock transfers, trust and warehouse receipts, and bills of lading. Source: OCC
  • Verdict: The decision of a petit jury or a judge.