If you currently find yourself in the middle of a probate case, or you worry that disagreements over a loved one’s estate plan will ultimately lead to court, it is essential to go over a number of issues. Aside from reviewing the unique details surrounding the case and taking steps to prepare for court, you should make sure you have a clear understanding of key terms.
For those who lack familiarity with probate and other estate-related topics, estate litigation can seem especially confusing. However, reviewing terms that commonly come up during probate can help.
Beneficiaries, administrators and other probate terms
The Judicial Branch of California provides definitions of various terms that frequently arise during the probate process. For example, beneficiary refers to an individual who inherits assets through a will, and administrator refers to the individual appointed by the court to manage someone’s estate when they pass away without a will in place.
Also referred to as the personal representative, administrators are often a spouse or close relative of the individual who passed away, known as the decedent. An executor is an individual identified in the will to carry out the decedent’s wishes.
Other important probate terms
You should familiarize yourself with other crucial terms, such as real property (land as well as buildings) and personal property (cars, clothes, furniture, etc.). Intestate refers to dying without a will, and intestate succession covers the manner in which people receive assets when no will was in place.
By having a clear understanding of these terms and various legal issues related to probate, you can approach the case with more confidence.