If you have been named as the executor of an estate, or appointed by the court as an administrator, there are some legal terms that you may encounter as you execute your duties. While some of these are common terms used in other forms of law, others are unique to estate law. Here are a few that you may see:
When an estate is going through probate, taxes and the debts of the estate must be settled prior to settlement taking place. Unfortunately, sometimes there are not enough liquid assets to do this. When there is an abatement, certain bequests or gifts that are listed in the will are reduced, and the difference created by the reduction is then used to create a fund to take care of the expenses or to fund other bequests that have priority.
If any of the beneficiaries named in the will that is in probate are minors, the court may order that any assets that they are entitled to receive be placed in a blocked account until they reach a certain age. The assets will be held in a savings or brokerage account until the court issues an order to release them.
Case Management Conference
If there are terms within the will, or the will is being contested, the court may attempt to find common ground between the parties prior to the case being heard in court. In this type of conference on the judge and the involved parties are present. There are no witnesses or evidence presented.
Trial Readiness Conference
If a compromise is not reached during a Case Management Conference, then the court may schedule a Trial Readiness Conference prior to trial. This may also be referred to as a pretrial or settlement conference. In addition to being another attempt to facilitate a settlement in the case, there are other reasons a Trial Readiness Conference may be held. Some of these are:
- Accelerate the outcome of the case
- Set the expectations of the trial
- Review the preparation of the parties prior to trial and more
In some cases, this conference may just take place between the attorneys and the judge.
These are just a few of the many terms you may encounter. (There will be many more.) You don't have to figure them out on your own. A probate attorney can help you not only understand the terms but what is expected of you as a result of them being used. Call one for a consultation today.