Probate is the legal process of administering a person’s estate after their death. Generally, it’s best to avoid probate to the extent possible in order to reduce court fees, legal costs, and delays associated with the process.
Here are some useful probate terms to know:
- Decedent: The deceased person whose estate is going through probate.
- Personal Representative (Executor): The person who is in charge of carrying out the instructions in the decedent’s Last Will and Testament.
- Testate: A case where the decedent died with a Last Will and Testament.
- Intestate: A case where the decedent died without a Last Will and Testament
- Intestacy: State laws determining how to distribute assets in an intestate case.
- Letters of Authority: A document from a probate court authorizing the personal representative to start carrying out the terms of the Last Will and Testament.
It’s our job to help you decide what your objectives are and then advise you as to whether (and how) to avoid the probate process.