- A legal process that takes place after an individual's where the courts decide the legal validity of the deceased's last will and testament before giving power to the estate's executor. The executor cannot redistribute assets until he or she has been granted probate. Depending on the nature of the deceased's assets, amongst a number of other factors, a will may or may not need to go through the probate process.
surrogate court, probate court
executor, testator, will
Related Terms and Acronyms
- Beneficiary — Definition,
- An individual or entity chosen to receive benefits from a will, trust, deed or insurance policy.
- Estate — Definition,
- The ownership interest of an individual in real property.
- The total sum of all the real property and personal property owned by an individual at time of death.
- Estate Planning — Definition,
- The process of determining how assets will be dispersed after an individual's death, ideally in the most tax-efficient way possible.
- Executor — Definition,
- The person who manages the estate of a deceased individual.
- Fiduciary — Definition,
- An individual, company, or association that manages assets for another party. Fiduciaries include executors of wills and estates, trustees, receivers in bankruptcy, and those responsible for managing the finances of a minor.
- Power of Attorney (POA, PA) — Acronym,
- A document in which the signer authorizes someone to conduct business in his or her name -- signing title documents and cheques, for example.
- Probate Sale — Definition,
- Sale of property after the death of the owner, supervised by a court, with proceeds divided among creditors and heirs.
- Sprinkling Provision — Definition,
- A provision that gives a trustee the authority to distribute life insurance death benefits as he or she sees fit, and to those who need the money the most.
- Survivorship — Definition,
- The right of a person to secure ownership by reason of his/her outliving someone with whom s/he shared undivided interest in the land.
- Will — Definition,
- A document that states what must be done with a person's estate after his or her death.