There are a lot of words that get thrown around in an estate administration. Here are some common phrases in probate terminology:

Administrator-the person appointed by the probate court to administer the estate of a person who doesn’t have a will.

Bond-This is an insurance policy that an executor or administrator must purchase in a number of estate administrations. Bond, as attorney Greene explains, is typically required when there is no will. The only exception to this requirement is where the person administrator of an estate is the sole beneficiary of the estate or if a bank is administering an estate. A bank is typically administer only when the estate is so valuable that nobody could obtain a bond. Bond is typically required to be twice the value of the personal property in an estate. If real estate is sold, the cash proceeds then become part of the value of personal property in the estate. Even if a will waives the bond requirement for an executor, the Probate Court can always require the Fiduciary to obtain a bond.

Decedent-the person who passed away who’s estate is subject to probate.

Estate administration-Attorney Greene will explain that this term is synonymous with a Probate Administration.

Executor-the person who is nominated by the testator to carry out the decedent’s last wishes.

Fiduciary-this term in the case of a probate administration refers to the executor or administrator of the estate. Attorney Greene explains that this person is legally obligated to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

Probate Administration-the process of transferring assets that were solely in decedent’s name to the beneficiaries of the estate.

Will-Short for Last Will and Testament. This is the document where a decedent sets out how their property will be disposed after death and who will be in charge.

While there are a lot of terms, probate terminology is actually quite simple.