Common estate terms that you’ll need to know include estate, probate, Executor and Administrator.

An estate is all the property and belongings owned at the time of passing. Not all of a decedent’s assets become part of his or her estate.  Certain assets pass outside the estate, while other assets become part of the estate and are used to pay certain expenses and outstanding obligations.

Probate (or succession) is the legal process of gathering a decedent’s assets, paying estate obligations, and distributing the remaining assets. The determination of whether probate is required depends on the nature of the decedent’s assets and applicable state laws.

An Executor is the person named in the decedent’s will to carry out the provisions of that will, and whose responsibilities include managing and distributing the estate.

An Administrator is the party appointed by the court to manage the estate if there isn’t a will or an executor named in the will.