If you are in the position of serving as the administrator or executor of an estate, you may be feeling overwhelmed. In addition to the loss of a friend of loved one, you have certain duties as an estate administrator (see our previous post for more details). The Probate terminology that is used when an estate is probated can add to that overwhelming feeling if you are not familiar with it. The following terms are commonly used, and having a basic understanding of them will help you feel more comfortable throughout the process:
PROBATE. Probate is the term commonly used to refer to the transfer of property from a deceased person to their heirs.
DECEDENT. The deceased person.
ESTATE. Estate is a term used to generally refer to a person’s total property. This includes both real and personal property.
HEIR. A person who is entitled to an inheritance from the decedent through the probate process or who is named in a will.
TESTATE. A person who dies with a signed valid will is said to be testate, and is called the testator.
INTESTATE. A person who dies without a signed valid will is said to be intestate.
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