ADMINISTRATION: This is the process of collecting the assets, paying the debts and distributing the balance of a deceased’s estate according to the will of a deceased person. If there is no will, or the will does not dispose of the deceased’s estate in whole or in part, then the relevant portion of estate is distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. See Intestate below.
ADMINISTRATOR: a person appointed by the Court to administer the estate of a deceased person when a person dies intestate, or when an executor is not appointed by will, or when the executor does not or cannot act.
AFFIDAVIT: a written statement, made by a person who has sworn or affirmed before a person authorised to administer the oath that the contents of the statement are true.
BENEFICIARY: a person who receives something from the deceased’s estate.
CODICIL: an amendment to a Will. Rather than write an entirely new Will, the testator can alter the will through a valid codicil
DEPONENT: a person who gives sworn evidence in an Affidavit.
ESTATE: the value of all the deceased person’s possessions (minus any outstanding debts and liabilities) at the time of their death.
EXECUTOR: a person appointed by will to administer the estate of the deceased person.
GRANT OF REPRESENTATION: a certificate issued under seal by the Court appointing an administrator, or authenticating the right of an executor, to administer the estate of a deceased person and vesting title to assets in the executor or the administrator.
INTESTATE: a person dying without a will or a valid will. A person is said to die partially intestate when a will does not dispose of the whole of the deceased’s assets. For example, the will may only appoint an executor to dispose of part only of the deceased’s assets. See Administration above.
LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION: a grant by the Court appointing an administrator to administer the estate of a deceased person.
LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION WITH THE WILL ANNEXED: a grant by the Court appointing an administrator when there is a will but no executor or when the executor does not or cannot act.
PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE: an executor or administrator.
PERSONAL APPLICANT: a person who seeks to obtain a grant without the intervention of a practitioner.
PROBATE: a grant by the Court certifying that the deceased’s will is valid or “proved” and that authority to administer the estate has been granted to the executor.
PROVING A WILL: the process of establishing the validity and admissibility of a testamentary instrument for the issue of a grant of probate by presenting relevant evidence to the Court.
TESTAMENTARY INSTRUMENT: a will or a codicil to a will.
TESTATOR: the person who has made the will.
WILL: a document whereby a testator disposes of the testator’s property on death and usually appointing an executor to administer the estate.
WITNESS: a person who signs the testator’s will in accordance with the requirements of the relevant legislation. A will must be signed by two witnesses who observed the testator signing the will.