GLOSSARY

ABATE

To put an end to; nullify.

ABATEMENT

Cutting back certain gifts under a will when necessary to create a fund to meet expenses, pay taxes, satisfy debts, or to have enough to take care of other bequests that are given priority under law or under the will.

ABSTRACT OF JUDGMENT

A written summary of a judgment which states how much money the losing party (judgment debtor) owes to the person who won a monetary award (judgment creditor). The abstract is issued by the court so that it can be recorded at the county recorder. The purpose of an abstract of judgment is to create a lien or claim on any real estate owned or later acquired by the debtor located in the county in which the abstract of judgment is recorded.

ACCOUNTING

An act or system of making up or settling accounts; a statement of account, or a debit and credit in financial transactions.

AD LITEM

For the suit; for purposes of the suit; pending the suit. (See guardian ad litem.)

ADEMPTION

The failure of a specific bequest of property because the property is no longer owned by the testator at the time of his death.

ADMINISTRATOR

A person (sometimes a family member) appointed by the court to administer the estate of a person who died without a will (i.e., a Personal Representative). (See also, general administrator, public administrator, and special administrator.)

ADMINISTRATOR WITH WILL

ADVERSE POSSESSION

The actual, open, and notorious possession of real property, for a continued period of time, held adversely and in denial and in opposition to the title of any other claimant.

AFFIANT

One who makes oath to a statement.

AFFIDAVIT

A written statement made under oath.

AGE OF MAJORITY

The age when a person acquires all the rights and responsibilities of being an adult. In California, as in most states, the age is 18.

AMENDED

To add to or change a document that has been filed in court by replacing it in its entirety with a new version. In Probate, an Amended Petition will be given a new hearing date.

AMENDMENT

To add to or change a portion of a document that has been filed in court. In Probate, an Amendment to a Petition will not be given a new hearing date.

ANCILLARY ADMINISTRATION

Administration in a state other than the decedents domicile, when there is also a known administration at the place of domicile.

ANNEXED

A person appointed by the court to administer the estate of a person who died with a will, but the will either fails to nominate an executor or the named executor is unable to serve.

ANNUITANT

Beneficiary of annuity.

APPEARANCE

The formal act of presenting oneself physically to the jurisdiction of a court; a document identifying representing counsel.

ASSETS

All property other than income that is part of an estate.

ATTESTATION

The act of witnessing the signing of a document by another, and the signing of the document as a witness. Thus, a will requires both the signature by the person making the will and attestation by at least two witnesses.

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