Common terms explained

In your dealings with us, you'll find there are some common terms we use. Here's a quick overview of what they mean and when you might come across them.

If you are:

  • receiving an inheritance
  • planning for the future
  • planning for future generations

then see Estate planning and wills.

If you are:

  • buying a new home
  • selling your existing home
  • purchasing an investment property

then see Property-related terms.

Estate planning and wills

BeneficiaryAny person, organisation, trust or charity who will benefit under the will
DisbursementsFees from various organisations that we pay on behalf of the estate (such as bank fees, valuations, lawnmowing etc.)
DistributionA payment made, or an asset transferred
EstateEverything a person owns at the time of their death
Executor and trusteeThe person or organisation responsible for carrying out the wishes in the will and paying the beneficiaries
Grant of administration (of probate)The court's approval giving the executor the right to deal with the estate
GuardianSomeone who will look after a child's welfare when their parents can't
Personal care and welfare attorneyThe person you have appointed to make decisions about health or personal matters affecting you if you can't look after yourself
Plan of administrationThe plan we agree with the beneficiaries setting out how the estate will be managed and settled - it details what will be done, when, and who will do it
Property attorneyThe person you have appointed to manage your assets if you can't look after them yourself
Statement of accountThe account of how the estate was settled. It shows all the assets, what was done with one and what each beneficiary received
TransmissionThis is the process by which an executor takes ownership of a property

Property-related terms

ConveyancingThe legal process of buying and selling a house
Cross leaseAll parties own an undivided share in the land and lease homes to one other, without needing to pay rent
DepositA percentage or fixed dollar value of the purchase price paid by the buyer on signing an agreement
EquityThe value of the property, less debt secured by it
Fixed interest rateThe interest rate is fixed for a set period of time e.g. 5 years
FreeholdYou own the land and home with the least restrictions of all kinds of ownership
InterestThe amount your mortgagee (e.g. Public Trust) charges for the loan over its life
Land Information Memorandum (LIM)A document issued by the Council with information relating to or affecting a property
LeaseholdYou own the home, but you lease the land and pay rent for it
PrincipalThe amount you borrow (does not include interest)
PurchaserWhoever buys a property
Sale and purchase agreementA written contract between the seller and buyer
TermThe period of time a loan is in place
TitleThe legal right of ownership of the property (whether freehold, leasehold or other interest)
Unit titleA title that provides freehold or leasehold ownership of a unit in a multi-unit building subject to body corporate rules
Variable interest rateA rate that can move up and down. Also known as floating interest rate
VendorWhoever is selling the property