When someone dies anything that they owned is known as their estate. An estate can include lots of different things - such as big pieces of property like houses or cars right through to other things like cash and jewellery. In most cases an estate is passed to surviving relatives and friends. This is often in-line with the person's wishes shown in their will, but in other cases where someone dies without a will the estate might be passed on according to legal rules, which are known as intestacy. Someone who is given responsibility for dealing with an estate is referred to as an executor, or sometimes they are known as an administrator. If you are an executor for someone's estate you might have to apply for a legal document called probate before you can begin dealing with the estate. To find out more about this take a look at the legal issue 'I need to apply for probate'.