Glossary

Administrator

The administrator of an estate is the person appointed by law to administer your estate when you die without leaving a will

Administration (of an estate)

Administration of an estate upon a person’s death arises if the deceased is legally intestate, meaning they did not leave a will, or some assets are not disposed of by their will.

Beneficiary

A person who is entitled to benefit from an estate.

Conciliation

Conciliation is intended to establish communications between the parties to a dispute. A neutral third party assists the participants by helping them open communication lines that will encourage further dialogue and clarify any misconceptions.

Contested Will

A Will is contested Will when it is challenged by another party. Typically, a challenge is made in regard to the deceased free and clear ability to determine the distribution of property and assets to their heirs.

Estate

Property owned by you including things such as land, buildings, bank accounts and life policies

Estate Attorney

Primarily dealing with estate law and the surrounding specialties, an estate attorney works for individuals or families providing legal advice and protection. An estate attorney helps with an inventory of the deceased’s possessions and files the proper documents as required by law.

Facilitation

A neutral third party supports the disputants by taking conciliation to the next level. The facilitator continues to promote communication and also guides the participants through the process and provides assistance during the process.

Executor

It is the executor’s responsibility to ensure that the expressed wishes of the deceased are carried out properly and fully. They calculate and pay taxes owed by the estate, deal with creditors and borrowers, file proper legal documents, distribute to heirs of the estate and protect assets of the estate.

Grant of Probate

The document issued by the Court giving authority to the Executors to administer an estate.

Intestate

If you die without leaving a Will you are said to die intestate and the law decides how your estate will be distributed.

Mediation

A neutral third party assists the disputants in their negotiations and works with them to come to agreements. The mediator has no decision-making authority, but may meet together with all of the parties, or communicate separately with the participants in private meetings called caucuses.

Probate

Probate is the process of proving the validity of a Will and administering the estate according to the terms of said will. In some cases, if the estate is not awarded to the surviving spouse, the estate enters probate. A court aids in the disposition of the property and assets of the deceased’s estate according to the court’s particular jurisdiction. An administrator and/or probate attorney is assigned by the court to assist in carrying the process of probate and to aid the executor of the Will.

Probate Registry

A branch of the court which issues grants of administration to the estates of deceased persons.

Trust

One or more persons hold property for the benefit of others (the beneficiaries). A Trustee is the person who is acting in the trust and holds the property for the benefit of someone else.

Trustee

A person who holds property and/or assets on trust for another and who is entrusted with the administration of the trust in which the property and/or assets are comprised.

Undue Influence

Undue influence is the most common ground for will contests and are often accompanied by a capacity challenge. In probate law, it is generally defined as a testator’s loss of free agency regarding property disposition through contemporaneous psychological domination by an advisor which results in an excessive benefit to the advisor.

Will

A written, legal document in which a person specifies the distribution of assets of their estate upon their death. The testator must demonstrate that he or she has the capacity to dispose of his or her property, and does so freely and willingly without “undue influence.” A Will must be legally signed and witnessed to be valid.

Wills Probate

Will probate occurs when there is a legitimate questions of the validity of the Will or it is contested. A court, and often a probate attorney become involved with determining how the Will is carried out.

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