Glossary of Terms

Administrator: 
Administrator, or Executor, is the title given to the person who is appointed by the court to collect assets of the estate, pay its debts, and distribute the rest to the appropriate beneficiaries.

Estate File:
Estate Files consist of various documents pertaining to the settlement of estates of deceased persons, including applications, wills, affidavits, and property inventories.

Executor: 
Executor, or Administrator, is the title given to the person who is appointed by the court to collect assets of the estate, pay its debts, and distribute the rest to the appropriate beneficiaries.

Grant of Probate:
A Grant of Probate is a legal document issued to register the will of the deceased and the administrator or executor named in the will. A copy of the will is sometimes included with the grant of probate.

Inteste:
Literally, "without a will," denoting that an individual died without having made a valid will, or that a decedent has no will at all.

Legal Instrument:
A legal instrument is a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some legal right, such as a Grant of Probate, Letters of Administration, Letters of Administration with Will Annexed, or Special Grant.

Letters of Administration:
Letters of Administration are issued by the court to appoint someone to administer the estate of the deceased, most often when an individual dies without leaving a will (intestate).

Letters of Administration with Will Annexed:
Letters of Administration with Will Annexed are granted by the court to appoint someone to administer the estate of the deceased when an individual dies leaving an informal document purporting to express his/her wishes.

Probate:
Probate is the process by which the will of a deceased person is determined to be the final statement of disposition for their assets, or if no will is left or no living heirs exist, where administration of assets is determined either by law, custom or petition.

Testate:
A person who dies with a legally recognized will is said to have died "testate."

Special Grants:
Special Grants are legal instruments issued by the court for a variety of reasons, including when the estate is very small; when ancillary orders are made subsequent to the original orders of the court; or in matters of guardianship.

Will:   
A formal document setting out what a person wants to happen to their possessions after their death.