Glossary of Estate Law Terms
This is everything that a person owns, including their money, personal property, and real property (i.e. real estate).
A will is a legal document that gives instructions about how your estate is to be handled after your death.
Pronounced TES-TAY-TOR (weird right?). That’s the person who is making the will. After the testator dies, he is referred to as the “Decedent”.
This is the person that is designated to help carry out the terms of the will (e.g. collect and distribute property, pay taxes, etc). He/she is usually a trusted friend or family member of the testator, and is nominated by the testator and must be approved by the court.
This is the person (or organization) who you’re leaving stuff to in your will. For example, Sam is leaving her ruby necklace to Debbie in her will. Debbie is a beneficiary under Sam’s will.
This is the person (or people) that you nominate to care for your minor children if you should pass away.
Probate is the judicial process through which a person’s estate is calculated and distributed after their death.