What are letters testamentary?
Once a personal representative has been appointed and qualified by the court to handle the deceased’s estate, the court clerk will issue documents which note that this individual has been appointed by the court as the personal representative and that they are qualified to carry out their duties and responsibilities. In other words, these documents can be used by the personal representative as evidence of their role while trying to handle estate affairs. Where the estate is being distributed pursuant to a legally valid will, these documents are known as letters testamentary. When there is no such legally valid will, and the estate is being distributed pursuant to state intestacy statutes, the documents are known as letters of administration.