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Glossary Of Common Probate Terms

The intent of this glossary is to provide individuals going through probate with a general understanding of terms commonly used in Probate Law and their application. The definitions within this document are not comprehensive and are not intended to serve as a substitute for independent research of the law or for a probate attorney. We have however, reviewed the terms and we have worked with members of the law to check and review our content to provide you with the best and most up to date information. We believe that probate can be confusing and understanding the different terms is very important to navigate the process.

If you have any questions or would like to contribute to our glossary, please feel free to visit our contact page.

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  • A debtor is a company or an individual who owes money to the creditor or lender. Whenever a debtor obtains funds from a financial institution, the debtor is referred to as a borrower. Whenever the debtor gets funds from a financial institution(...) Read More
  • "Decedent" is a legal term used by professionals in the domains of taxation, estate planning, and law to refer to a person who has passed away. A decedent who is a genuine taxpayer has all of their possessions become part of their estate, and(...) Read More
  • The decision can apply to both administrative and judicial rulings when used in a general sense. It includes final judgments and rulings, as well as interlocutory or temporary orders issued by the court while the case is still pending the(...) Read More
  • A declaration is a written statement filed to a court in which the writer swears 'under penalty of perjury that the contents of the statement are true. The writer acknowledges that if he is dishonest, he may face legal consequences, including(...) Read More
  • A decree is the rule of law usually issued by a head of state (such as the President of a republic or the monarch) after following specific procedures (usually established in a constitution). It has the same legal effect as a court order. The(...) Read More
  • A deed is a legal document that transfers real estate or other assets, such as an automobile, to the person who holds it. A deed is a legal document that transfers and defines the boundaries and ownership of an asset to a new owner. When a(...) Read More
  • A failure to fulfill a legal obligation, such as neglecting to pay back a loan on schedule. When one party to a lawsuit fails to comply with a court-ordered activity, the failure results in the court settling the legal dispute in favor of the(...) Read More
  • A demurrer is a legal term that refers to the act of arguing that despite how factual a complaint or allegation is, the court can decide to dismiss the motion because it’s not enough to establish a legal action. The procedure for establishing(...) Read More
  • In family law, a person who depends on another for their financial support. In juvenile court, it's often used to describe minors that have been abused or neglected by parents and must be placed into protective custody until they can be(...) Read More
  • A legal term that now means any real or personal property transferred under the terms of a will. It used to be only referring to immoveable assets, but is expanding its meaning in an effortless manner! Read More
  • A person or entity who inherits property from a will. It is a legal term that now means any real property under the terms of a will. It used to be only referring to immovable assets, but is expanding its meaning in an effortless(...) Read More
  • A legal document that authorizes the termination of life support in case a person becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves. Read More
  • The act of paying out money, it is a common practice that allows people to settle their debts or accounts payable. Read More
  • A legal representative of an estate. He or she is seen as the "legal heir" and is the perfect fit to inherit a testator's estate, according to the law, and if there's no will. Another name for a distributee is "next of kin or(...) Read More
  • Number designation assigned to each case filed in a court. If you have a case in the probate registry, the docket number will help for easier tracking. Once a case Is assigned a docket number, all papers presented to the court must bear(...) Read More
  • The beneficiary of a trust is the donee. Otherwise referred to as a trustee, a donee stands as a third-party and receives benefits after two parties have successfully sealed a contract. One of the contract parties gives the donee a gift. While(...) Read More
  • A durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone else to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so due to illness, injury, or other incapacitation. A durable power of attorney refers to a(...) Read More

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