Glossary

Administrator

A person appointed by the court under letters of administration to administer a deceased’s estate that has no executor. This may be because there is no will, the will does not appoint an executor, or a named executor is unwilling or unable to act.

Blended family

A family made up of the members of separate families, usually as a result of the parents’ repartnering.

Estate administration

The administration of a deceased’s estate occurs after a grant of probate or letters of administration is made. It involves the executor or administrator gathering all the assets of the deceased, paying any debts owed by the deceased including the cost of administration, and distributing the balance of the estate to the beneficiaries.

Executor

A person appointed by a will to administer a deceased’s estate.

Executor rule

A common law rule that the executor of a deceased’s estate has the right to dispose of the deceased’s body and to possess the body for that purpose.

Final disposal

This includes burial and cremation, as well as any other lawful means of disposing of a body. Final disposal takes place after medical intervention and does not include tissue donation.

Funeral and burial instructions

Directions that a person clearly intends to have carried out after their death that relate to: i) rituals associated with the disposal of their body and/or remains ii) the disposal of their body iii) the disposal of their remains and/or iv) memorialisation at the site of their body
or remains.

Grant of letters of administration

A grant made where there is no will, or where there is a will but no executor is available. It confers upon a court-appointed administrator the authority to administer the deceased’s estate.

Grant of probate

A grant made when there is a will. A grant of probate certifies that the will is the last and valid will of the deceased and confirms the authority of the executor named in the will to administer the deceased’s estate.

Likely administrator rule

A common law rule that, where there is no executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate, the person most likely to be appointed the administrator of the deceased’s estate has the right to dispose of the deceased’s body and to possess the body for that purpose.

Memorialisation

Erecting a memorial, such as a plaque or headstone, in honour of the deceased.

Next of kin

A person’s closest living relative. While there are a number of specific statutory definitions, a person’s next of kin is usually their spouse or domestic partner or, if they do not have a spouse or domestic partner, their child, then a parent, then a sibling, and so on.

Personal representative

The executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate.

Remains

This includes cremated remains, commonly known as ashes, or remains resulting from any other disposal process that alters or takes the place of natural decomposition.

Right of interment holder

The person with near-absolute control over a burial plot, including in relation to determining who can be buried in the plot and how that person is memorialised. The right of interment holder is usually the person who paid for the plot.

Testator

A person who makes a will.

 

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