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letters testamentary

n. a document issued by the court clerk which states the authority of the executor of an estate of a person who has died. It is issued during probate of the estate as soon as the court approves the appointment of the executor named in the will and the executor files a security bond if one is necessary (most well-drafted wills waive the need for a bond). Certified copies of the letters are often required by banks and other financial institutions, the federal government, stock transfer agents or other courts before transfer of money or assets to the executor of the estate.

See also: probate  administrator 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications