A person who makes a Will is called a testator (male) or testatrix (female). When a person dies and leaves a Will, that person’s property, the estate, is distributed according to the wishes of the deceased, as expressed in the Will.
If a person dies without leaving a Will, the estate is distributed to certain persons in an order fixed by the Administration Act 1903 (WA). Such a person is said to have died “intestate”.
A will maker must appoint someone in the Will to deal with the estate. That person is known as an executor (male) or an executrix (female).
The appointment of an executor or executrix to control and administer a person’s estate after his or her death is formalized and made official by the Court in an order known as a Grant of Probate.
If there is no executor or executrix named in the Will, the Court may, upon application being made to it, appoint an administrator/trix to deal with the will maker’s estate.
A person who receives a part of a deceased person’s estate is known as a beneficiary.
Where a person dies intestate, a person (usually a close member of the deceased’s family), upon application, can be appointed by the Court to deal with the intestate’s estate.