GLOSSARY

PECUNIARY

Monetary; relating to money; financial; consisting of money or that which can be valued as money.

PER STIRPES

By right of representation; made of distribution in which the issue of a deceased devisee collectively take only the share which their parent would have taken if living.

PERSONAL EFFECTS

Belongings of a personal nature, such as clothes and jewelry.

PERSONAL PROPERTY

All items, both tangible and intangible, that are not real property. Anything owned by a person that can be moved such as money, securities, jewelry, etc. (As opposed to real property e.g. house, land, crops, cabin, etc.)

PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE

The generic title applied to the person who is authorized to act on behalf of the decedents estate. Almost always, this person is either an administrator or executor appointed by the court to administer a decedents estate.

PETITION

A written, formal request, properly filed with the court, for a specific action or order. The petition is a pre-printed court form in some cases, or written in proper format on pleading paper in others (e.g., petition for probate, petition for conservatorship, etc).

PETITIONER

One who presents a petition to a court. The person who opposes the prayer of the petition is called the respondent.

PLEADINGS

In a civil case, the allegations by each party of their claims and defenses.

POINTS AND AUTHORITIES

Also referred to as Ps and As. Points and authorities refer to the written legal argument given to support a request for a motion. It includes references to past cases, statutes, and other statements of law to give added emphasis to the legality of the motion being requested.

POWER OF ATTORNEY

A written legal document that gives an individual the authority to act for another.

PRAYER

That portion of a petition or complaint that sets forth the requested relief or damages to which the petitioner or plaintiff deems himself/herself entitled.

PREDECEASED SPOUSE

The term applied to a spouse who has died before the decedent while married to him or her.

PRETERMITTED HEIR

A child or spouse who, under certain circumstances, is not mentioned in the will and who the court believes was accidentally overlooked by the testator when making his/her will. If the court determines that an heir was pretermitted, that heir is entitled to receive the same share of the estate as he/she would have had the testator died intestate.

PRO TEMPORE

From the Latin: for the time being or temporarily; a referee or commissioner sitting temporarily and provisionally for a judge; same as pro tem.

PROBATE

The judicial process in which an instrument purporting to be the will of a deceased person is proven to be genuine or not; lawful distribution of the decedents estate. The legal process of administering a will. Also, the judicially supervised process for marshaling a decedents assets, paying proper debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the persons or entities entitled to them. An estate may be probated even if there is no will.

PROBATE ESTATE

All the assets owned at death that require some form of legal proceeding before title may be transferred to the proper heirs. Property that passes automatically at death (property in trust, life insurance proceeds, property in a pay-on-death account or property held in joint tenancy) is not in the probate estate.

PROBATE EXAMINER

The Probate Examiner examines files and documents in pending probate matters set for hearing, providing technical, procedural and legal review to ensure that matters before the court have proper notice and complete documents for a court ruling. The Examiners work-product is then posted prior to the hearing date for the parties to review and correct deficiencies (or defects) prior to the hearing.

PROBATE REFEREE

An official appointed by the California State Controller to value all property (except for cash type items) in probate, small estate petitions, conservatorship, and guardianship matters filed with the court. Probate Referees also assist trustees in valuing assets in non-probate matters.

PROOF OF SERVICE

The form filed with the court that proves the date on which documents were formally served on a party in a court action.

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATOR

A publicly appointed person who handles the administration of an estate when no other person has been appointed as executor or administrator.

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