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Probate Proceedings: Wills and Estate Planning

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Administrator The person who administers a decedent's estate when there is no will.

Administrator With Will Annexed. The person, other than an Executor, who administers a decedent's estate when there is a Will (the Will fails to name an Executor or the named Executor cannot or will not serve).

Decedent The deceased person.

Executor The person who administers a decedent's estate when there is a Will.

Heirs Those persons who would inherit the estate of a decedent if there were no Will under the rules of descent and distribution. "Heir" does not mean the same thing as "beneficiary", although an heir may also be a beneficiary.

Intestate Without a Will.

Letters Testamentary/Letters of Administration The official document issued by the Probate Court evidencing the authority of an executor or an administrator.

Personal Representative Any executor, administrator, guardian or trustee, but not a temporary administrator.

Probate The court procedure by which a Will is proved to be the valid last Will of a decedent; also used generically to refer to the legal process of administering a decedent's estate.

Probate Court The Court having jurisdiction over proceedings to administer the estate of a decedent; also has other jurisdiction.

Proceeding Pro Se Representing yourself in court without an attorney

Testator A person who has made a Will.

Will A document, signed with the formalities required by Georgia law, by which a person makes disposition of his property, to take effect after his death.