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Before-tax Income

Income before taxes are deducted.

Bench Mark

A permanently marked point with a known elevation used as a reference for surveyors to measure elevations.


A person who may become eligible to receive, or is receiving, benefits under an insurance plan. The beneficiary is selected by the policy owner and may be changed at any time, unless “irrevocable.”


The person designated to receive the income from a trust, estate, or a deed of trust.


To transfer personal property through a will.


An improvement that increases property value as distinguished from repairs or replacements that simply maintain value.

Bilateral Contract

A contract in which each party promises to perform an act in exchange for the other party’s promise to perform an act.

Bill of Sale

A written document that transfers title to personal property.


A preliminary agreement, secured by the payment of an earnest money deposit, under which a buyer offers to purchase real estate.


Binders and other temporary insurance contracts may be made orally or in writing. Each binder is deemed to include all usual terms of the policy for which it was given plus endorsements. Life or Disability insurance utilizes conditional receipts instead of binders.

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