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Probate 101: Glossary of Terms Used During the Probate Process

Probate 101: Glossary of Terms Used During the Probate Process

Estate planning is an important way for people of all ages to prepare for the future. Without effective planning, your loved ones may deal with the complicated process of probate following your passing. Probate is the legal process where a court oversees the distribution of a deceased person’s assets and ensures that any outstanding debts are accounted for. This process is tedious and often overwhelming, so it is helpful to work with an experienced probate attorney who can guide you through probate and help you find peace.

There are many terms that you may hear during probate, so it is important to understand what they mean. Below are some of the most common probate terms and their definitions.

Administrator: During probate court, an administrator is appointed to act as an agent for the estate. This only occurs during an intestate estate case. The administrator will be responsible for managing the estate according to California intestate laws.  

Decedent: This term is used for the person who has passed away.

Executor: An executor is nominated by the court to act as the agent of a testate estate. This person is responsible for carrying out the wishes of the deceased according to the terms of his/her will.

Intestate Estate: This occurs when a person passes away without a will.

Personal Representative: This term applies to both administrators and executors, and is used as a catch-all phrase to describe the agent responsible for managing an estate, whether that be according to the terms of the will or intestacy laws.

Testate Estate: When a person passes away with a valid will the process is known as testate estate.

Are you struggling with the probate process following the loss of a loved one? Don’t go through this alone! Reach out to Scire Law to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate probate attorneys.

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