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The person appointed to settle the financial affairs of the deceased: winds up the estate and distributes the assets of the deceased in accordance to intestacy rules.


The person due to inherit from the estate of a deceased person.

Bona Vacantia

Bona Vacantia is a Latin phrase for ‘ownerless property’. If there is no rightful owner the property will go to the Crown.


Property/ finances held by the deceased.

Grant of Administration

The formal procedure by which an administrator is appointed. It enables the administrator to access any funds held in the deceased name.

Intestacy/ intestate

Where someone has died without making a will.


A named beneficiary in a will.

Probate Genealogy

The research involved in locating and identifying the next-of-kin of a deceased person: sometimes, informally referred to as ‘heir hunting’.


A person entitled to share in the ‘residue’ (remainder) of an estate.

Residuary Heir

Someone who is entitled to inherit the remainder within a will.


The male/female that has left a valid will.


The instructions left as to the distribution of the deceased’s estate.

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