Legal Language

Some commonly used legal language you may hear when dealing with Deceased Estates.

Administrator

Someone appointed by the Court to administer an estate where either there is no executor appointed, the appointed executor fails to obtain probate, or the deceased died intestate (without a valid Will).

Beneficiary

Someone who is the recipient of funds, property or other benefits under a Will.

Bequest

A gift of personal property of any kind, including a legacy (e.g. a gift of a specific sum of money).

Case Manager

The Westpac person who will be responsible for settling an Estate on your behalf.

Codicil

A supplementary amendment to your Will.

Claimant

 The person making a claim to the Estate.

Death Certificate

 An official document containing registered information about a person's death.

Declarant

 The person who is declaring that the information they are giving is true.

Deceased Estates Management Team

The team within Westpac specialised in helping you settle the Estate of the deceased Westpac customer.

 Estate

 The sum of what you leave when you die.

Estate of Account

The name of an account opened and operated by the Executors/Administrators of an Estate if they want to continue the operation of a deceased’s account  once we've been notified of the customer’s death and the Estate  is being administered.

Executor

 The person you appoint in your Will to see that your wishes and instructions are carried out.

Intestate

The name given to the situation that arises when someone dies without leaving a valid Will.

Letters of Administration

The grant made by the Court to the person who's been appointed to administer an Estate of a person who died intestate (without a valid Will). 

Personal Representative

An Administrator or an Executor.

Power of Attorney

A Power of Attorney gives someone (the attorney) the authority to act legally on your behalf to the extent specified in the Power of Attorney document.

Probate

When the Court authenticates an appointment of an executor for a Will, this is called a Probate.

Residue

What's left of your Estate after all expenses have been paid, and specific and general Bequests have been made.

Will

A written legal instruction of how a person wants their property to be distributed on their death. To be valid, it must comply with correct legal requirements

Will-maker

The person who has made, changed, revoked or revived the Will and is the equivalent of testator (male) or testatrix (female).