Being a Personal Representative – Glossary

Being a Personal Representative – Glossary

administration (or “grant of administration”)

A legal procedure where the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta appoints someone (an administrator) to administer the estate of a deceased person who died without a will. The Court’s authority for that administrator to act is given in a grant of letters of administration.


Someone who is given authority by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta to manage and administer the estate of a deceased person who dies without a will. When an administrator is appointed, the Court issues a grant of letters of administration.


A written document containing information. The person making the affidavit takes an oath swearing that the information provided in the document is true.


What a person owns. Assets can include things such as money, land, investments, and personal possessions such as jewellery and furniture.


A person or organization to whom the testator leaves something in his or her will.


Personal property left to a beneficiary.


Funds paid into court that insure the value of the estate.

Clearance Certificate

A certificate issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) after the CRA has confirmed that all of the testator’s outstanding taxes, including year-of-death taxes, have been paid to the CRA.


A document made after the will that changes some of the items in the will.


What a person owes. These can also be called “liabilities” and may include credit card balances, loans, and mortgages.


All of the property and belongings owned by the testator at his or her death. The estate does not include property owned with someone else in joint tenancy or joint bank accounts. The estate does not include insurance policies, RRSPs or RRIFs, or other things that specifically name someone as the testator’s beneficiary.

holograph will

A will that is completely in a person’s own handwriting.


Where a person has died without leaving a will.

joint tenancy

A type of ownership where any two or more persons (related or not) may equally own property and the property passes to the survivor or survivors on the death of one (without flowing through the estate of the deceased).

liquid asset

An asset that is either cash or easily converted to cash. Liquid assets in an estate would typically include cash, bank accounts, GICs, retirement savings plans, mutual funds, stocks, and mortgages owned. Liquid assets are assets that are paper assets rather than physical or fixed assets, which could be houses, cars, furniture, or collections.

personal representative

The person, named in a will, who is responsible for managing the estate and for carrying out the instructions in the will.

probate (or “grant of probate”)

A legal procedure that confirms the will can be acted on and authorizes the personal representative to act. The procedure includes submitting special forms and the original will to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta.

tenancy in common

A type of ownership where any two or more persons (related or not) may own property, but, unlike joint tenancy, the shares need not be equal, and there is no right of survivorship. That is, on the death of an owner, the share does not flow to the other tenant in common, but rather, flows through the estate of the deceased tenant.


A person who has made a will.


A part of the testator’s estate that is set up to ensure ongoing income for a beneficiary, usually a dependent child.


The person or company named by a testator to manage a trust.


The legal statement of a person’s last wishes as to the distribution of his or her property after death.

You should NOT rely on this webpage for legal advice. It provides general information on Alberta law only. November 2015.

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