Beneficiary - A Person named to receive property or other benefits
Codicil - A supplement or an addition to a Will. It may explain, modify, add to, subtract from, qualify, alter, restrain, or revoke provisions to a Will. It must be executed with the same formalities as the Will.
Elective Share (filed in Chancery Court) - The surviving spouse's right to request to take a statutory share of the decedent's estate rather than under a Will or the intestate laws.
Estate - Everything a person owned at the time of their death.
Executor/Executrix - A person appointed by the Testator (maker) to carry out the directions and requests of his/her will.
Intestate - Where there is no valid Will at death.
Issue - All of a person's lineal descendants of all generations (i.e., child, grandchildren, great-grandchildren
Letters of Administration - The order issued by the Register of wills empowering a party to gather and distribute the assets of an estate in the case where the decedent died without a Will or did not name an Executor in a will or Where the Executor dies, renounces his appointment or is not qualified.
Letters of Testamentary - The order issued by the Register of Wills to the Executor named in the Will of the decedent to allow the Executor to collect and distribute the estate.
Life Estate - A right to use or occupy property for the life of the person named, which completely expires upon the death of the person named.
Next of Kin - Those persons most nearly related to a decedent by blood (i.e., Children, parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles, etc.)
Personal Property - Any property which is not included in the definition of real estate; tangible property such as, furniture, books, automobiles, jewelry, and clothes, and intangible property such as money, stocks, bonds, and/or bank accounts.
Personal Representative - Person(s) who administer an estate and includes Executor, Administrator, Successor Administrator, and Administrator With Will Annexed (W.W.A.), and persons who perform substantially the same function under the law governing their status.
Per Stirpes - Denotes the method of dividing a share of an estate where a class or group of beneficiaries take the share which their deceased would have taken if he/she survived the testator. These members of the group take by their deceased's right of representation. (For Example, if Person "A" dies leaving no spouse and is survived by two children: "B and C", and the two children of his deceased child "D": "E and F", "B and C" would each receive 1/3 of "A's" intestate estate and "E and F" would each receive 1/6 of "A's" intestate estate by right of representation of "D")
The entire system or process provided by law for transferring the property of a decedent to heirs; and
The act or process of proving a Will to be valid before the Register of Wills.
Real Property - Land and Buildings (i.e. real estate)
Spouse Allowance - The surviving spouse's right to request up to $2,000 from the personal representative in addition to any other provisions for his/her benefit contained in a Will or by intestate law.
Testator/Testatrix - Person who makes a Will (the maker)
Witness - A person who is over 18 years of age, not incompetent and who witnesses the Testator's original signature to a Will and signs the Will attesting his presence at the time the Testator signed , or acknowledged signing, the Will.