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Will & Probate Glossary
7/31/2014
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
 
From the October 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine
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