intestate(redirected from intestates)
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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.