Glossary

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Family Allowance

When a decedent’s estate is involved in the probate process and the decedent left behind a spouse or children who need financial support during probate, that spouse and children may receive a family allowance. It is distributed often by the executor of the estate at the direction of the probate court. This amount is given in addition to anything given to the recipients through the will.

Federal Trade Commission

A federal agency that works to protect consumers from fraudulent and unfair practices by business owners and their employees. As part of its work, the commission oversees the funeral service business.

Fiduciary

In the context of the role of the executor, fiduciary generally refers to the relationship an executor has with the estate of the deceased. This is a relationship of trust. A person with fiduciary responsibility to the estate must act in good faith. If a fiduciary does not act in good faith, betraying the trust placed in him or her by the estate, he or she might be held personally liable and face penalties determined by the court.

Funeral Services

These are services provided by a funeral director and his or her staff. Services might include planning a funeral, transportation of the deceased’s body, embalming, writing an obituary, cremation, working with a cemetery for burial, etc.