Claim – a debt or liability owed by the decedent at the time of death, the funeral expenses, and the costs and expenses of administering the probate estate. A “claimant” is a creditor who files a claim against a probate estate.

Devisee – a distributee that is named in a will to receive certain property. May be a person or an entity such as a charity.

Distributee – person or entity to receive a distribution through probate.

Heir – a distributee, as determined by the Missouri statute of intestate succession, to receive real or personal property of an intestate.

Intestate – a decedent who has died without having made a will.

Letters of Administration – document from the probate court appointing the personal representative of an intestate’s estate (i.e., no will).

Letters Testamentary – document from the court appointing the personal representative of a testate’s estate (i.e., with a will).

Personal Representative – a person appointed by the court to be in charge of a decedent’s probate estate. Also called an executor or administrator.

Probate Estate – real estate and personal property owned by the decedent and subject to administration supervised by the probate court, including any income after death.

Publication – notice published in a newspaper in the county where the decedent resided.

Testate –a decedent who has died leaving a will.