Will & Probate Glossary
9/27/2009
Learn the meanings of that legalese in ancestral wills and probate files.
Abstract
A summary of the important aspects of a document.

Administrator/Administratrix
Person or persons appointed by the court to administer an intestate estate (administrator, male; administratrix, female).

Codicil
An amendment to a will.

Dower

A provision in the law for the widow for her support and the care of her children. Upon the death of her husband, the widow received one-third in value of all lands that her husband owned at the time of his death.

Estate

The sum total of a person's property.

Executor/Executrix
Person or persons named in a will to carry out the terms in the will (executor,male; executrix, female)

Intestate
A case where a person dies leaving no valid will.

Inventory
An itemized list of a person's property

Probate

The legal process of transferring items of a deceased person's estate to heirs.

Testate
A case where a person dies leaving a valid will.

Transcription

A verbatim copy of a record.

Will

A legal document providing for the disposition of a person's property.