Adult: means a person who has attained the age of 18 years, except that for purposes of investigating or prosecuting a person who is alleged to have violated any state or federal criminal law or any civil law or municipal ordinance, "adult" means a person who has attained the age of 17 years. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
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.
Amortization: Paying off a loan by regular installments.
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.
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.
Appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
Arrest: Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority.
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.
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
Clerk of court: An officer appointed by the court to work with the chief judge in overseeing the court's administration, especially to assist in managing the flow of cases through the court and to maintain court records.
Counterclaim: A claim that a defendant makes against a plaintiff.
Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
Donee: The recipient of a gift.
Electronic funds transfer: The transfer of money between accounts by consumer electronic systems-such as automated teller machines (ATMs) and electronic payment of bills-rather than by check or cash. (Wire transfers, checks, drafts, and paper instruments do not fall into this category.) Source: OCC
Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
Fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
Forgery: The fraudulent signing or alteration of another's name to an instrument such as a deed, mortgage, or check. The intent of the forgery is to deceive or defraud. Source: OCC
Garnishment: Generally, garnishment is a court proceeding in which a creditor asks a court to order a third party who owes money to the debtor or otherwise holds assets belonging to the debtor to turn over to the creditor any of the debtor
Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
Inter vivos: Transfer of property from one living person to another living person.
Liabilities: The aggregate of all debts and other legal obligations of a particular person or legal entity.
Litigation: A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
Mortgagee: The person to whom property is mortgaged and who has loaned the money.
Nonmarital child: means a child who is neither conceived nor born while his or her parents are lawfully intermarried, who is not adopted and whose parents do not subsequently intermarry under…. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
Personal property: All property that is not real property.
Personal property: includes money, goods, chattels, things in action, evidences of debt and energy. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
Personal representative: means a person, however denominated, who is authorized to administer a decedent's estate. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
Plaintiff: The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
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: 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
Probate: Proving a will
Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.
real property: includes lands, tenements and hereditaments and all rights thereto and interests therein. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
Revocable trust: A trust agreement that can be canceled, rescinded, revoked, or repealed by the grantor (person who establishes the trust).
Right of survivorship: The ownership rights that result in the acquisition of title to property by reason of having survived other co-owners.
Service of process: The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
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.
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.
Summons: Another word for subpoena used by the criminal justice system.
Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.