Longridge: 01772 783 314 | Garstang: 01995 602 129 | Lancaster: 01524 581 306 
 
Longridge: 01772 783 314 
Garstang: 01995 602 129 
Lancaster: 01524 581 306 
Picture this: you’re in the middle of completing a pack of legal documents and you’re reading through then … BAM! You’re reading words like ‘Absolute’ or ‘Caveat Emptor’ or ‘Per stirpes’. So, to help you along the way, our expert team of solicitors in Lancaster and Preston at MG Legal, have compiled a list of common words or phrases used in our legal documents which start with the letters A - F
 
And, if there’s one not on the list that you come across, drop it in the comments below and we can confirm the meaning, or give us a call on 01524 581 306 for some guidance. 
 
A 
 
Abandonment Foregoing a legal right. 
 
Ab initio A Latin term meaning “from the beginning”. 
 
Aforementioned Something mentioned before in the document or letter. 
 
Absolute owner The only owner of property, such as land or a car. 
 
Abstract of Title A document summarising the title of a property. 
 
Ad idem A Latin term meaning “in agreement”. 
 
Adjournment Postponement of a Court Hearing. 
 
Administrator A person appointed to deal with an estate of a person who died without making a Will. 
 
 
B 
 
Barrister A legally qualified professional who can represent a person in Court, other than their Solicitor. 
 
Beneficial Owner The owner of a piece of land and the buildings on it. 
 
Beneficiary A person who benefits from a Will. 
 
Bequeath To leave something to someone in your Will (not including property or land). 
 
Bigamy When someone who is already married marries another person. 
 
Binding Precedent When a decision is made by a higher Court, it must be followed by the lower Courts. 
 
Breach of Contract When a party to a contract fails to complete their end. 
 
 
C 
 
Capacity A person’s ability to enter into a legal agreement. 
 
Caveat Emptor A Latin term meaning “buyer beware” (see Solicitors in Lancaster’s blog on the subject, here). 
 
Chattel Any property not including freehold land. 
 
Chattels Real Leasehold Land. 
 
Child abuse Ill-treatment of a person under the age of 18 years. 
 
Child Support Payments made from one parent to another to help with the costs of caring for the parties’ child or children. 
 
Codicil An addition to a Will if a minor alteration needs to be made. 
 
Completion The legal transferring of property from one person to another for a payment. 
 
Condition A ‘if this happens then this can take place’ clause in a contract. 
 
Contract An agreement made between two or more parties to do something (or not to do something) in exchange for something else. 
 
 
D 
 
Damages Money awarded by the Court as compensation for an injury or wrong-doing. 
 
Decree A Court Order. 
 
Decree Absolute The final Order ending a marriage. 
 
Deed A legally binding document which commits the signer to do what is named in the Deed. 
 
Dependant A person who requires financial support from another, who would not be able to live with this support. 
 
Disbursement A payment made by a professional person on behalf of their client for a third-party service. 
 
Domicile The country where your permanent home is (see our blog on domicile here). 
 
 
E 
 
Easement The right of way over someone else’s land. 
 
Enduring Power of Attorney A document giving another person power to deal with your affairs. It is important to note that these were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney on 1 October 2007. 
 
Estate All of a person’s possessions at the date of their death. 
 
Executor/Executrix A person appointed in a Will to deal with the deceased’s estate. 
 
Ex Parte An application made without notice to the other party. 
 
 
F 
 
Family Division A division of the High Court dealing with marriage breakdowns and Probate cases. 
 
Force Majeure An event outside the control of the parties, stopping the duties under a contract from being carried out. 
 
Freehold Land which only the owner has rights over. 
 
Future Contracts A contract which binds the sale or purchase of something in the future for an agreed price. 
 
 
So, this list is definitely not exhaustive! There are many terms which are not included, which you can check up on by calling MG Legal, your Solicitors in Lancaster on 01524 581 306. The list does also not cover every situation. If you have specific questions about how the term has been used in the context of your legal document, contact Solicitors in Lancaster by email to enquiries@mglegal.co.uk. Remember MG Legal have offices in Garstang and Longridge too: so your local solicitors are never too far away! 
 
And, keep an eye-out. We’ll be finishing the alphabet list over the next few weeks. We know that it might seem boring but it’s addictive – we bet you can’t wait to see what words come up next! 
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