What is a "Decedent" in Probate Law?

The word "decedent" identifies a person who has died recently.  With respect to probate law, the probate court case is brought in the deceased person's name:  "In re Estate of John Q. Smith, Deceased."  Lawyers often speak of your family member who has passed as "the decedent" in order to avoid saying the person's name over and over again, which inflicts emotional pain on some bereaved family members.