Probate Glossary

A person appointed by the court to administer the assets and liabilities of a deceased person. This term applies to a person administering an estate where the decedent had no will, and in some circumstances where there is a will.

Administrator cum testament annexo (C.T.A.)
Administrator where there is a will, but for some reason there is no executor to act. For example, the last will and testament may have failed to name an executor or the executor was unable or refused to perform.

Administrator de bonis non (D.B.N.)
Administrator where there has not been a prior administration of the estate.

Co-Owner or Co-Tenant
Someone who shares ownership of property with one or more other owners.

An instrument conveying or evidencing ownership of real property. A deed is a contract that transfers land from a grantor to a grantee.

Title to property that transfers to the State when.

Everything owned by a person who has died, including assets and liabilities, before distribution to heirs.

Personal representative of an estate who is responsible for carrying out the directions and requests in a last will and testament.

Heir, Legal
A person who is legally entitled to the property of someone who has died.

Heir at Law
Land that is held by the relatives of a landowner who dies without a will.

Joint Tenancy
In Georgia, joint tenancy is language found in a deed which gives survivorship rights to other owners of the property. Since the property passes to survivors, it may be conveyed without the need for probate the deceased person's estate.

A conveyance of title to real property from a debtor to a creditor that serves as collateral for the repayment of a loan.

To die without a valid will.

Intestate Succession
Occurs when property that belonged to someone who has died without a valid will automatically passes to that person’s heirs at law.

Intestate Property (or Intestate Estate)
The collection of property owned by a person who died intestate.

Last Will and Testament
A Last Will and Testament is a revocable instrument by which a person directs the disposition of assets after death.

Operating Agreement
The primary management document in a limited liability company (LLC) which also sets forth the interests of the owners.

Partition in Kind
Forced division of property by tenants in common where each owner receives an actual parcel of land corresponding to a specific interest in the property.

Partition by Sale
The forced sale of property by tenants in common where each owner receives an allocation of sale proceeds corresponding to a specific interest in the property.

Petition to Probate in Common Form
The probate of an estate where all the heirs have not agreed to an appointed representative. Conveyances by a will probated in common form may be challenged for up to four years, and therefore marketable title cannot be conveyed under this method.

Petition to Probate in Solemn Form

The probate of an estate where all the heirs have agreed to an appointed representative. Once Letters Testamentary are issued, a personal representative may convey marketable title.

Petition for Year’s Support
An award of property to a surviving spouse or minor children of the deceased.

Probate Court
A court with the general power over wills and the administration of estates.

Personal Representative
Executors of last wills and testaments, administrators (of estates or last wills and testaments) and trustees of trusts. Generally speaking, a personal representative is the person(s) appointed by the probate court charged with collecting, inventorying and distributing assets of a deceased person.

Purchase-Money Mortgage
A mortgage given by a buyer to a lender when the property is used to secure the repayment of money used to pay all or part of the purchase price.

Quiet title action
A type of lawsuit used to clear title defects or clarify ownership or legal rights to real estate.

Security Deed
A limited conveyance of title from a debtor to a creditor to real property which serves as collateral for the repayment of a loan.

Tax Sale
A sale of property by the Sheriff to pay unpaid property taxes. The proceeds are applied to any outstanding tax amounts. The owner or an interested party may seek reimbursement of any excess.

Tax Deed
Deed issued by the Sheriff after the tax sale. In Georgia, a tax deed operates in a practical sense as a lien until the right to redeem the deed has been barred.

The legal effect of a deed transfer combined with other matters that effect the property primarily, but not strictly limited to, instruments filed in the real estate records office.

Tenancy in Common
A form of ownership of land in which there are multiple owners, and all are entitled to possess and use all of the land, subject to the rights of other co-owners. Heir property is commonly owned by tenants in common.

See Last Will and Testament


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