Glossary of Terms

A-H | I-R | S-Z


Sale - The transfer of ownership of property in exchange for a sum of money.

Sale, Executed - A completed sale.

Sale, Executory - An incomplete sale; a sale that will be complete when all conditions of the sales contract have been met.

Satisfaction - Payment of or in some other manner discharging an obligation or debt.

Seal - To authenticate or confirm. A stamp or other device used to certify or authenticate a document.

Security Deposit - Money left on deposit with a landlord by a tenant to insure that the tenant will abide by a lease agreement. A landlord may use all or part of a security deposit to pay for any damages that may be caused by a tenant. Such deposit may also be used to pay liquidated damages in the event that a tenant requests premature termination of a lease.

Severalty - Refers to the holding of property alone and without another person having any right of ownership.

Supplemental Needs Trust - A Trust under which the individual is the beneficiary of all or part of the payments from the Trust. The distribution of Trust payments is determined by the Trustee, who has discretion with regard to amounts to be distributed to the individual. A properly drafted Supplemental Needs Trust will allow a beneficiary to receive some monetary distributions but not lose Medicaid or SSI benefits.

Stock - A certificate held by a stockholder as evidence of ownership of a stated number of shares of a corporation.

Stockholder - One who owns stocks in a corporation.

Sublet - The renting by a tenant, to a third party, of all or part of the premises that the tenant is leasing from a landlord.

Subornation - The crime of inducing another person to commit perjury.

Subscribe - To consent to or to affirm the contents of a document by signing one's name to the document.



Tangible - Material; capable of being touched, as distinguished from intangibles, such as easements and rights.

Tenancy - A right to possess property either by lease or by title.

Tenancy, Joint - The joint ownership of real property by two or more persons.

Tenancy at Will - The possessing of real property with a lease of indefinite term. Either landlord or tenant may terminate the tenancy by written notice to quit.

Tenancy by the Entirety - The holding of real property by a husband and wife jointly, with the right-of-survivorship so that on the death of either the other becomes sole owner. Neither can sell his or her interest without the consent of the other.

Tenancy for Life - The possessing of real property for the duration of one's life.

Tenancy for Years - The possessing of real property for a specified limited time, usually for years, but may be for weeks or months.

Tenancy in Common - The ownership of real property by two or more people, each with an undivided interest in it and all with equal right to possession of it. The undivided interests may or may not be equal. Upon the death of a tenant in common, his or her interest does not pass to the survivors but becomes part of his or her estate.

Tenant - One who holds title, lease, or right to possession of real property.

Term Insurance - A form of life insurance having no cash surrender value and generally furnishing insurance protection for only a specified or limited period of time.

Testamentary Trust - A Trust set up in a Will that only takes effect after death.

Testate - One who dies with a Will.

Testator - One who executes a valid Will.

Title - Legal ownership of property; a document proving ownership.

Title Search - A review of public records to determine if the title to a parcel of real estate is free of encumbrances (such as mortgages, judgments, tax or other liens) restrictions or easements.

Trespass - An illegal intrusion into real property, or a disturbance of real property that is in the legal possession of another.

Trustee - Person or institution agreeing to accept and manage property according to the instructions in the Trust agreement.

Trust Transfer Documents - Copies of deeds, assignments, etc, showing which assets were transferred to the Trust.



Undivided Interest - The right or interest in real property whereby each tenant in common, tenant by the entirety, or joint tenant has equal rights to use of the entire property.

Usury - The crime of charging a rate of interest on a loan that is greater than the amount permitted by law.



Vacate - To set aside or annul a judgment. Also, in real estate law, to quit a premises.

Void - Of no legal force; null; invalid.



Waiver - A voluntary relinquishment or renunciation of a claim, right, or privilege.

Warrant - A judicial writ authorizing the execution of a judgment or the making of a search, seizure, or arrest.

Warranty - A statement of assurance by the seller or manufacturer that goods are as represented to the buyer; also an assurance that goods or property will be repaired or made serviceable if found defective within a stipulated period of time.

Will - A legal instrument by which a person declares how his or her property is to be distributed after death.



Yield - To surrender; to give up.



Zoning - The setting apart of specified areas of a town, village, or municipality for specified activities or types of construction.

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