Glossary of Probate terms
Administrator/rix - a person appointed by the Surrogate to take charge of the Estate of a decedent who dies without a Will. Also called a personal representative.
Beneficiary - a person designated to receive money, property or benefits in a Will.
Bequest - a gift of personal property by a Will.
Bequeath - to dispose of personal property through a Will.
Caveat - a formal notice given by someone to prevent the proving of a Will or the grant of administration of an Estate.
Codicil - an addition or supplement to an original Will that adds to or deletes only part of a Will.
Decedent - a deceased person.
Devise - a gift of real estate through a Will.
Domestic Partnership - Two people that are not related and 18 years of age and of the same sex or of the opposite sex age 62 years or older.
Estate - real and personal property and possessions; everything a person owns.
Executor/rix - a person named in a Will to carry out the wishes and intentions of the Will, also known as a personal representative.
Guardian - a person who has been qualified and/or been appointed as a guardian of the person and/or property of a minor or adult mental incompetent.
Heir - a person who inherits property from a deceased person.
Intestate - when a person dies without a Will.
Joint tenants with rights of survivorship - two or more persons owning real estate where the survivor will inherit the property.
Legatee - a person who receives a gift under a Will.
Personal property - intangible property, such as stocks, bonds, or bank accounts and tangible property such as jewelry, furniture or an automobile.
Probate - official proof of authenticity or validity of a Will.
Real property - land and/or buildings.
Surrogate - the elected county official who oversees probate in the State of New Jersey.
Tenants in Common - two or more persons owning undivided individual interests in a single piece of property.
Tenants by the Entirety - real property owned as husband and wife with rights of survivorship.
Testator/rix - the person who makes a Will.
Trust - property owned or managed by a person for another.
Trustee - person holding property in trust for another.
Will - a legal declaration of the manner in which a person wishes Estate to be divided after death.
Witness - person who observes the signing of a Will and/or codicil and attests to the signature of the Testator/rix.