Intestacy

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Intestacy'

The condition of an estate of an individual who dies with property valued greater than outstanding debts, but in which there is not a valid will present. Intestacy may also exist if an existing will does not cover an entire estate. In common law systems, property of an estate in intestacy will typically first go to a spouse, then to children and descendants.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Intestacy'

Rules governing the succession of an estate in intestacy are typically laid out by the state in which the deceased lived, and may vary across the United States. Because of the complexity of this type of estate law, called intestacy law, individuals who want to determine who receives property from an estate, should ensure that they complete a will.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Probate

    The legal process in which a will is reviewed to determine whether ...
  2. Escheat

    The transfer of title of property or an estate to the state when ...
  3. Will

    A legally enforceable declaration of how a person wishes his ...
  4. Beneficiary

    Anybody who gains an advantage and/or profits from something. ...
  5. Asset

    1. A resource with economic value that an individual, corporation ...
  6. Contingent Beneficiary

    1. A beneficiary specified by an insurance contract holder who ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. If both the primary and contingent beneficiaries are unavailable, what happens to ...

    One of the most common mistakes in estate planning is not keeping beneficiary designations up to date on life insurance policies ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What does U.S. law say about contingent beneficiaries?

    In the United States, posthumous asset transfers only require the listing of a primary beneficiary. Contingent beneficiaries ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I change my contingent beneficiary?

    Keeping your beneficiary designations up to date is an important aspect of comprehensive estate planning. Listing a primary ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What kinds of assets can be included in a revocable trust?

    A revocable trust is an important part of estate planning. The trust document allows a living grantor to receive income from ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do you set up a revocable trust?

    A revocable living trust (RLT) is an arrangement in which a grantor transfers ownership of property through a trust. The ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What types of insurance policies have contingent beneficiaries?

    A contingent beneficiary is a person designated to receive the benefits of an insurance policy or retirement account if the ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Establishing A Revocable Living Trust

    This arrangement allows you to have more control over your estate - both before and after your death.
  2. Options & Futures

    An Estate Planning Must: Update Your Beneficiaries

    Life changes make it time to rewrite your plan's designations.
  3. Retirement

    Skipping-Out on Probate Costs

    Don't let bad estate planning lead to unnecessary costs and stress for your inheritors.
  4. Economics

    What is a Fiduciary?

    A fiduciary is a person who acts on behalf of another person (or people) to manage assets.
  5. Retirement

    Retirement: The Journey Of 1000 Miles

    Substantial time should be set aside to fully outline one's vision for retirement and the specific steps that must be taken to realize it.
  6. Professionals

    Tips for Spreading the Wealth to Relatives

    There are many ways that your clients can move money or other assets to relatives in order to reduce their tax bills. Here's a primer on best practices.
  7. Professionals

    Tips for Handling Client Inheritance

    When clients leave or receive an inheritance, be prepared to deal with much more than mere paperwork or financial transactions.
  8. Professionals

    Advice on Dealing with Unequal Inheritances

    When it comes to inheritances, the concept of equal versus equitable can be hard to navigate, even when all parties are reasonable.
  9. Professionals

    Top Tips for Family Wealth Transfers

    Essential tips for tackling family wealth transfers.
  10. Professionals

    Estate Planning Tips for Financial Advisors

    Estate planning is not a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. Here are some tips for you and your clients.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Fiduciary

    1. A person legally appointed and authorized to hold assets in trust for another person. The fiduciary manages the assets ...
  2. Expected Return

    The amount one would anticipate receiving on an investment that has various known or expected rates of return. For example, ...
  3. Carrying Value

    An accounting measure of value, where the value of an asset or a company is based on the figures in the company's balance ...
  4. Capital Account

    A national account that shows the net change in asset ownership for a nation. The capital account is the net result of public ...
  5. Brand Equity

    The value premium that a company realizes from a product with a recognizable name as compared to its generic equivalent. ...
Trading Center