Key Terms

Some of the terms commonly used in estate administration and this website are discussed below:

Administrator. A person (or entity) who qualifies as the personal representative of a decedent’s estate, where the decedent, at time of death, did not leave a will acceptable for probate with the Court.

Decedent. Describes a deceased person, who died testate with a will that may require probate with the Court, or who died intestate, without a will, with assets that require estate administration.

Executor. A person (or entity) who qualifies with the Court as the personal representative of a decedent’s estate, where the decedent, at time of death, left a will acceptable for probate with the Court.

Fiduciary. As used in the context of this website, refers to a person (or entity) who is charged with the duty of properly administering the assets or property of another. This would include a personal representative, either Administrator or Executor of an estate, or a trustee under a testamentary trust.

Intestate. Describes a person who dies without a will acceptable for probate with the Court.

Personal Representative. A general term that refers to either an executor or administrator who has qualified with the Court on a decedent’s estate.

Testamentary Trust. A trust established by a decedent in his or her will for administration after the decedent’s death. For example, a trust provided in a decedent’s will setting forth the terms for management of estate assets passing to children until they reach the age specified in the will. The trustee of a testamentary trust is normally named in the will.

Testate. Describes a person who dies with a will acceptable for probate with the Court.

Will. Refers to a document executed by a person providing direction for the handling of their estate upon death. In order for a will to be accepted for probate with the Court it must be prepared and executed in accordance with applicable law.

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