Letters of Testamentary

Letters of Testamentary are legal documents issued by Probate Court that officially authorize a person named in a valid Last Will and Testament to act as the Executor of a deceased person's Estate.

These documents grant an Executor the legal authority to Settle an Estate by paying its outstanding Debt and distributing remaining Assets to Heirs and Beneficiaries according to the instructions outlined in their will.

Obtaining letters of testamentary is an early step of the estate settlement process. , an executor must file a petition with probate court and provide proof that the deceased person has passed away and that the will is valid.

Once the court confirms the validity of the will and the appointment of the executor, letters of testamentary are issued, and they may begin to Administer the deceased's Estate.

Letters of testamentary stand in contrast to Letters of Administration, documents that also authorize a person to Administer an Estate, but are only issued if deceased did not have a valid will at the time of their death.

The laws that govern probate and letters of testamentary vary from state to state and so an experienced Probate Attorney or Estate Attorney is typically hired to help manage the process.