Probate and Estate Administration Glossary (16B:App A)

From Clicklaw Wikibooks



  • Administrator – a person appointed by the court to manage the estate of a person who dies intestate (without a will)
  • Attestation – an act of authenticating, affirming to be true, genuine, or correct, in an official capacity of a legal document
  • Beneficiary – (a) a person named in a will to receive all or part of an estate, or
  • (b) a person having a beneficial interest in a trust created by a will
  • Cash legacy – a grant by will of money
  • Codicil – an addition to a will that changes, explains, revokes, or adds provisions
  • Equitable title – a title to property in which a party has a beneficial interest and will eventually acquire legal title. For example, the beneficiary of a trust has an equitable title in assets held in the trust
  • Estate –properties of a deceased person
  • Exclusion clause – a provision in a will that leaves something or someone out of the will
  • Execution – an act of signing and otherwise completing a testamentary document, such as acknowledging the signature if required to make the document valid
  • Executor – a person appointed to manage the estate of a person who has died leaving a will which nominates that person. The executor must insure that the person's desires expressed in the will are carried out. Practical responsibilities include gathering up and protecting the assets of the estate, obtaining information in regard to all beneficiaries named in the will and any other potential heirs, collecting and arranging for payment of debts of the estate, approving or disapproving creditor's claims, making sure estate taxes are calculated, forms filed and tax payments made, and in all ways assisting the lawyer for the estate (which the executor can select)
  • Express powers – stated rights, authorities and abilities in a will of the Executor to take some action or accomplish something, including demanding action, executing documents, contracting, taking title, transferring, exercising legal rights and other acts
  • Indemnify – to guarantee against any loss that another might suffer
  • Intestacy – a situation where a person dies without a legally valid will
  • Joint tenancy – an ownership of real property in which each party owns an undivided interest in the entire property, with both having the right to use all of it and the right of survivorship
  • Legal title – the ownership of real property, which stands against the right of anyone else to claim the property. In real property, legal title is evidenced by a deed, judgment of distribution from an estate, or other appropriate document recorded in the public records
  • Personal representative – the individual that winds up the estate and distributes the assets
  • Probate – the process of proving a will is valid and thereafter administering the estate of a dead person according to the terms of the will
  • Survivorship – the right to receive full legal title or ownership of a property due to having survived another person in a joint tenancy
  • Testamentary capacity – having the mental competency to execute a will at the time the will was signed and witnessed
  • Will-maker – a person who has made a will that is in effect at the time of his/her death.
  • Trust – an entity created to hold assets for the benefit of certain persons or entities, with a trustee managing the trust (and often holding title on behalf of the trust)
  • Trustee – a person or entity who holds the assets (corpus) of a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries and manages the trust and its assets under the terms of the trust stated in the declaration of trust which created it
  • Wind up – to liquidate (sell or dispose of) assets of an entity
© Copyright 2017, The Greater Vancouver Law Students' Legal Advice Society.


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