the original cost of an asset to be used to determine the amount of capital gain tax upon its sale; an "adjusted basis" includes improvements, expenses, and damages between the time the original basis (price) is established and transfer of the asset; "stepped up basis" means that the original basis of an asset will be stepped up to current value at the time of the death of the owner, and thus keep down capital gain taxes if the beneficiary of the dead person sells the asset


the intentional striking of someone, with intent to harm, or in a "rude and insolent manner," even if the injury is slight; negligent or careless unintentional contact is not battery no matter how great the harm; battery is a crime and also the basis for a lawsuit as a civil wrong if there is damage

Beach Bum Trust Provision

requirement in a trust that a beneficiary can only receive profit from the trust equal to the amount they earn; this provision is intended to encourage the beneficiary to work, and not just lie around the beach and live off the trust


anyone holding something; such as a check, promissory note, bank draft, or bond; this is important when the document state it is "payable to the bearer"


convinced of the truth of a statement or allegation; in a common phrase "upon information and belief," the so-called belief is based only on unconfirmed information, so the person declaring the belief is hedging their bet as to whether the belief is correct


1) general term for all judges, as in "the bench," or for the particular judge or panel of judges, as in an order coming from the "bench." 2) the large, usually long and wide desk raised above the level of the rest of the courtroom, at which the judge or panel of judges sit

Bench Warrant

a warrant issued by a judge, often to command someone to appear before the judge, with a setting of an amount of bail to be posted, generally; a bench warrant is used in lesser matters to encourage the party appear in court.

Beneficial Interest

the right of a party to some profit, distribution, or benefit from a contract or trust


broad term for any person or entity who is to receive assets or profits from an estate, a trust, an insurance policy or any instrument in which there is distribution


1) any profit or acquired right or privilege, primarily through a contract 2) in worker's compensation the term "benefit" is the insurance payment resulting from a fatal accident on the job, while "compensation" is for injury without death 3) In income taxation, anything that brings economic gain