When a person dies, another person has to be appointed by the court to take charge of the deceased person's property. All the deceased person's property is collectively known as his estate. If there was a will, the deceased would have appointed a person called the executor to take charge of the deceased's estate. If there was no will, a person would have to be appointed as an administrator to take charge of the deceased's estate. To be lawfully recognised as the executor or the administrator of the deceased's estate, you would have to apply to the court for a Grant of Probate (if there is a will) or Letters of Administration (if there is no will).