Legal terms used in Surrogate's Court, defined in plain English
The court appointed representative of an estate where the decedent died with no last will and testament; synonyms include fiduciary and representative; similar to Executor
A person entitled to benefit from an estate, typically named in a last will and testament or trust; sometimes used synonymously with Distributee
The person who died
A person who would inherit from a decedent's estate if the decedent died with no last will and testament; also known as an Heir
An ownership interest; the definition varies depending on the context; examples include real estate, trust estate, and probate estate
The court appointed representative of an estate where the decedent died with a last will and testament; similar to Administrator
A general term referring to a person acting on behalf of another (the principal) where the person acting is obligated to act in the best interest of the principal; examples of fiduciaries are Administrators, Executors, and Trustees
A person who would inherit from a decedent's estate if the decedent died with no last will and testament; also known as a Distributee
When a person dies without leaving a last will and testament; such person is said to have died 'intestate'
Last will and testament
A legal document that lists a person's wishes about what will happen to his or her property after death
A party who puts forth a document as valid; one who petitions to probate a last will
A specialized court that deals with probate of wills, administration of estates, certain guardianships, and certain adoptions; also known as 'probate court'
When a person dies with a last will and testament; such person is said to have died 'testate'
One who makes and executes a last will and testament
One who acts on behalf of a trust
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