A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
taking
See eminent domain.
taking against the will
A procedure under state law that gives a surviving spouse the right to demand a certain share (usually one-third to one-half) of the deceased spouse's property. The surviving spouse can take that share instead of accepting whatever he or she inherited through the deceased spouse's will. If the surviving spouse decides to take the statutory share, it's called "taking against the will." Dower and curtesy is another name for the same legal process.
tangible personal property
Personal property that can be felt or touched. Examples include furniture, cars, jewelry and artwork. However, cash and checking accounts are not tangible personal property. The law is unsettled as to whether computer data is tangible personal property. Compare intangible property.
tax basis
See basis.
temporary restraining order (TRO)
An order that tells one person to stop harassing or harming another, issued after the aggrieved party appears before a judge. Once the TRO is issued, the court holds a second hearing where the other side can tell his story and the court can decide whether to make the TRO permanent by issuing an injunction. Although a TRO will often not stop an enraged spouse from acting violently, the police are more willing to intervene if the abused spouse has a TRO.
tenancy by the entirety
A special kind of property ownership that's only for married couples. Both spouses have the right to enjoy the entire property, and when one spouse dies, the surviving spouse gets title to the property (called a right of survivorship). It is similar to joint tenancy, but it is available in only about half the states.
tenancy in common
A way two or more people can own property together. Each can leave his or her interest upon death to beneficiaries of his choosing instead of to the other owners, as is required with joint tenancy. In some states, two people are presumed to own property as tenants in common unless they've agreed otherwise in writing.
tenant
Anyone, including a corporation, who rents real property, with or without a house or structure, from the owner (called the landlord). The tenant may also be called the "lessee."
tenants in common
See tenancy in common.
tender offer
A public offer to purchase stock at a specified price per share, usually done to gain a controlling interest in a corporation.
testamentary disposition
Leaving property in a will.
testamentary trust
A trust created by a will, effective only upon the death of the willmaker.
testate
The circumstance of dying after making a valid will. A person who dies with a will is said to have died "testate." Compare intestate.
testator
Someone who makes a will.
testify
To provide oral evidence under oath at a trial or at a deposition.