Probate administration is a topic that many people don't hear much about until a loved one dies. At that point, they realize that they're going to have to go through legal hoops to get their loved one's assets or the items that have been left to them.
Probate administration allows the distribution of assets and management of said assets to be performed effectively. Usually, people have someone assigned to take over when a loved one dies, but your loved one may also have appointed an attorney to handle the administration of the estate.
With probate administration, there are several terms you need to know. These are:
- Administrator, or the person who is in charge of handling the estate if your loved one died without a will
- Testator, the name of your loved one if they wrote a will
- Intestate, which means that someone died without a will in place
- Executor, or the person who makes sure the estate is disposed according to your loved one's wishes
Each of these terms is essential for you to understand estate administration and who or what is to do which steps.
The good news is that if your loved one has an estate plan, their attorney may also be prepared to administer the estate. They will be familiar with the estate already and may have copies of all the documents for the estate plan that are needed for court. Reach out to your own attorney if your loved one died with or without a will, so you can find out which steps to take next.