Annual Accounting
Refers to (required) yearly accountings to the court, such as in a court-appointed conservatorship.

Banking Power of Attorney
A very specific type of Power of Attorney, designed to permit another party (agent) access to manage bank accounts and/or investments in a particular bank, typically using forms specific to that bank.

Care Management
A highly personalized service intended to maximize independence, quality of life, and safety for a vulnerable person; the coordination and/or brokering of all services being provided to the individual.

Civil Service
Typically refers to employees, or past work as an employee, in any governmental agency other than the military.

An individual or entity appointed by the court to make decisions related to the management of the estate of the client (protected person), which includes making financial decisions and protecting property and other assets.

The court-appointment of a conservator to make decisions related to the management of the client’s (protected person) estate.

A term that is often used interchangeably with a Representative Payee (see Representative Payee).

An individual who has died; literal meaning is “one who is dying” but commonly used to denote one who has died, especially a recent death.

Disability Trust
Authorized under both federal and state law to protect assets for disabled individuals without disqualifying them for eligibility for public benefit programs; most commonly used to protect personal injury settlements and inheritances.

Durable Power of Attorney
A Power of Attorney written in such a manner that the agency given by one party (the “principal”) to another party (the “agent”) continues through the principal’s incapacity.

Estate Plan
The plan and process of anticipating and arranging for the disposal of one’s lifetime estate; it attempts to eliminate probate and maximize the value of an estate by decreasing taxes and other expenses.

Unfair treatment in some way or use of a situation in a way that is wrong in order to gain some personal benefit; often used in the sense of a financial exploitation.

An individual, agency, or organization that has agreed to undertake (for another) a special obligation of trust and confidence, having the duty to act primarily for another’s benefit and subject to an assumed high standard of care and loyalty imposed by law or contract.

An individual or entity appointed by the court to make decisions about the personal care of the client (protected person) including health care, living arrangements and other personal issues.

The court-appointment of a guardian to make personal decisions on behalf of a protected person; types of guardianship include plenary (full) or limited (as in limited to certain decisions).

Healthcare Power of Attorney
A written authorization by one party (the “principal”) to have another party (the “agent”) act on their behalf for healthcare affairs; the agent can make health-related decisions on behalf of the principal when the principal becomes incapacitated.

A term that denotes an individual who is incapable of decision-making for some aspect of their lives, such as the management of their finances or personal life.

A complete accounting of all assets/property in a client‘s estate, which in the case of a conservatorship, must occur within 90 days of the court-appointment.

A joint federal and state program that pays for hospital and medical care for people and/or families with limited income and resources; primary oversight is handled at the federal level, but each state establishes its own eligibility standards and administers its own Medicaid program.


A federal health insurance program that pays for hospital and medical care for people aged 65 and older and certain disabled Americans including those with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).

Medicare Part D
A federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries; also called the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

One to whom money is to be paid.

Personal Representative
Named or nominated in a Will or appointed by a Judge with a duty to administer and distribute the estate in accordance with the probate law and the Will (formerly known as ‘executor’ or ‘administrator’).

Power of Attorney (POA)
A written authorization by one party (the “principal”) to have another party (the “agent”) act on their behalf in private or other business affairs; if the POA is for financial matters, it is often referred to as a financial power of attorney.

Private Payee
Suggests that a private party or organization is acting as the payee—to whom money is to be paid on behalf of an individual.

A process, overseen by a probate court, that one’s estate goes through before a Will can be administered; involves collecting the decedent’s assets, liquidating liabilities, paying necessary taxes, and distributing property to heirs.

Railroad Retirement
A separate social security or retirement system for railroad workers, retirees, and their families.

Representative Payee
An individual or organization appointed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to receive Social Security (SS) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits on behalf of an individual who cannot manage their own funds; the Representative Payee uses the benefit to pay for current and future needs of the beneficiary and properly save any benefits not needed for current needs.

Social Security Disability Benefits
Benefits paid to you and/or certain family members if you have worked long enough and have a medical condition that has prevented you from working or is expected to prevent you from working for at least twelve months or end in death.

Social Security Retirement
Retirement benefits to which you are entitled from paying into the social security system.

Special Administrator
An individual or entity appointed by a court to manage, protect, and administer the estate of a deceased person; may be appointed prior to a Personal Representative (PR) being appointed, or if the PR is unable to serve.

Special Needs Trust (or Supplemental Needs Trust)
A discretionary non-support Trust designed to provide for a physically or mentally disabled person’s supplemental care—defined as items/services not provided by any public benefit programs (such as Medicaid or SSI).

Term used to denote spending-down an estate, legally, to qualify an individual for Medicaid.

Successor Trustee
A party that takes over when an existing Trustee has passed away or becomes, otherwise, unable to serve.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources and to people aged 65 and older without disabilities who meet the financial limits.

A relationship whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of another; governed by the terms under which it was created (typically documented in a Trust Agreement).

A person or agency that is appointed to oversee the management and distribution of property and assets owned by a Trust; Trustee is obligated to administer the Trust in accordance with the terms of the Trust and the governing law.

VA Disability Compensation
For veterans who have a condition that was caused or aggravated by their service in the military; includes service-connected and nonservice-connected disability and compensation.

A legal declaration by which a person names one or more parties to manage their estate and provides for the distribution of property upon their death.