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General terms | Estate services


Estate Services

General terms

Administrator: An administrator is a person appointed by a probate court to manage and distribute a deceased person’s estate if a valid will does not exist. An administrator can also be appointed by the court if there is a will but it does not identify an executor or the named executor is unable to or refuses to serve and a qualified successor has not been named.

Assumption: An Assumption is the process by which a party (or parties) other than the original customer(s) on the loan or lease voluntarily assumes responsibility for the remaining payments.

Beneficiary: A person designated to receive money or property from a person who has died. For example, someone can be designated as a beneficiary in a will or on a bank account (e.g., named in an informal trust as In Trust For (ITF) or named as a Payable on Death (POD) beneficiary).

Decedent: A deceased person

Deed: A written instrument that conveys some interest in property.

Estate: The assets and liabilities left by the decedent.

Executor/Executrix: Person or entity appointed by a will and/or appointed by court to administer the estate of a deceased person.

Fiduciary: A person who has been entrusted with the responsibility to manage the assets or rights of another person. A fiduciary may be referred to as an Executor, Administrator, or Trustee, among other names.

Letters of Administration: A document issued by a probate court that reflect the appointment of the administrator of an estate if there is no will.

Letter Testamentary: An order from the probate court approving the appointment of an executor under a will and authorizing the executor to administer the estate.

Note: A written promise by one party to pay money to another party.

Power of Attorney (POA): The authority to act for another person in specified or all legal or financial matters.

Probate: The process of gathering a decedent’s assets, paying the creditors and any taxes owed and then distributing the remainder according to the will (testate distribution) or state law (intestate distribution), as applicable.

Successor Trustee: A trustee who succeeds an earlier trustee, usually as provided in the trust agreement when the prior trustee is unable or unwilling to continue.

Successor In Interest: Someone who follows another in ownership or control of property. A successor in interest retains the same rights as the original owner.

Trustee: A person named to administer a trust for a beneficiary according to the terms established by the trust grantor/settlor.

Will: A legal document by which a person directs his or her estate to be distributed upon death.