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Related to intestate: Intestate succession


Describing a person who dies without a will. When an intestate person passes away, his/her assets are distributed to the next of kin and/or the state according to the law where the intestate person lived. It is important to note that courts do not take into account the intestate person's wishes in this circumstance.


Of, relating to, or being an individual who has died without leaving a valid will. In such a case, the estate of the deceased is distributed according to the laws of the state in which he or she resided.


A person who dies without a will is said to have died intestate.

In this case, the probate court in the person's home state -- sometimes known as surrogate's court or orphan's court -- determines who has the right to inherit the person's assets and who should be named guardian of any minor children.

The process, known as administration, can be time consuming and expensive, and the outcome may or may not reflect what the intestate person would have wanted.


Without a will. All states have laws specifying the rules of intestate succession, or who will receive property, and in what shares, when someone dies without a will. If there is no one to inherit,then the property escheats to the state.

References in periodicals archive ?
According to David Corser, partner and head of wills and probate with Challinors Lyon Clark, to die intestate is to leave a trail of potential misery, conflict and often avoidable tax bills.
Mr McClintock, aged 79, formerly of Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, but living in East Dene, Eastbourne, said he always believed his brother wanted to die intestate soeverything would be split equally between his siblings.
And, more often than not, the statutory distribution process, known as intestate distribution, will differ greatly from your wishes.
Mr McClintock claims his brother always planned to die intestate, and would never have disinherited the rest of his family, who will share the fortune if Judge George Bompas QC finds in his favour.
The retired businessman, who has spent 'every penny' of his savings on bringing the case because he cannot get legal aid, said he believed it was his brother's wish to die intestate.
If you die intestate (without a will) the allocation of your hard-earned estate may throw up a few nasty surprises.
The judge said it was clear that if that document was not valid then Mr Dabbs - whose estate is said to be valued at between pounds 1 million and pounds 2 million - would have died intestate and the siblings would be entitled to his estate "he having been twice widowed and not having had any children".
But if you don't leave a will, which is called dying intestate, a strict set of rules decides who gets what.
It means that, while spouses or civil partners will become the main beneficiary when no will has been made, children as well as relatives including siblings and parents, may no longer inherit as much from someone who dies intestate - without making a valid will - or may lose out altogether.
Majority of civil law jurisdictions recognize two major methods of inheritance upon death: by the will (a testate succession) and by operation of law (an intestate succession).
A staggering two-thirds of us don't make a will and last year the Treasury gained a whopping PS253 million from people who had died intestate (without a will).