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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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  • An elective share is a legal right that allows a surviving spouse to claim a certain portion of their deceased spouse's estate, regardless of what the deceased spouse's will or other estate planning documents say. The exact amount of the(...) Read More
  • When a judge is unable or unwilling to sign court orders, the clerk of their own superior may be appointed as an "elisor" (someone who signs) and give their consent. The term "elisor" refers to a court-appointed official who performs tasks(...) Read More
  • When a minor has achieved independence from his or her parents, often by getting married before reaching age 18 or by becoming fully self-supporting. The court can decide to cancel the emancipation order, especially if the concerned minor(...) Read More
  • Any claim or restriction on a property’s title. Read More
  • The difference between what you owe and the value of your property. There are significant benefits of owning a real estate property and wealth building is amongst them. That's why most people implement equity as a key means of building(...) Read More
  • Erratas are often used to correct errors in printing and writing. For example, misspellings or omissions can be fixed with an errata page attached so that it will not happen again when the book is printed again. There are times when an(...) Read More
  • The closest equivalent to this would be if you died without an heir and your property was then given back into state control. In some jurisdictions, banks, landlords, and any other organization that's placed in charge of another's property(...) Read More
  • Money or documents, such as a deed or title, held by a third party until the conditions of an agreement are met. For instance, pending the completion of a real estate transaction, the deed to the property will be held “in escrow.” Once the(...) Read More
  • A special account in which a lawyer or escrow agent deposits money or documents that do not belong to the lawyer or the law firm. Also known as impound accounts, an escrow account covers your property taxes, flood insurance, and homeowners(...) Read More
  • Many people are curious about the exact definition of an estate and think that it just refers to rich people, while that isn't exactly wrong there are specific definitions of an estate and broader reaching uses. In laymen's terms, an estate is(...) Read More
  • Latin that means “by or for one party.” Refers to situations in which only one party appears before a judge. Ex parte typically signifies that one person who also follows the term. The Ex Parte proceedings in the judiciary are always kept(...) Read More
  • A person or institution named in a will and appointed by the court to oversee and manage an estate, including the distribution of assets and satisfaction of creditors and taxes. What does an estate executor do? An executor has many(...) Read More
  • A certification from a judge of the superior court which attests that their signature is authentic, and can be trusted. Only an authorized personnel can attest or execute the exemplification. Exemplified copies are sometimes mistaken for(...) Read More
  • The physical object that is introduced in court and identified as evidence. Exhibits are evidence presented to the jury during a criminal or civil trial in the form of physical or written documents. The jurors are given the opportunity to(...) Read More
  • The expenses incurred by an executor or administrator in carrying out the terms of a will. These include probate court fees, attorney’s fees and accountant's costs among others as well as appraiser's services which may be necessary for valuing(...) Read More

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