Intestate

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Intestate'

The act of dying without a legal will. Determining the distribution of the deceased's assets then becomes the responsibility of a probate court.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS'Intestate'

To have died "in intestacy" means a court-appointed executor will compile any assets of the deceased, pay any liabilities and distribute the assets to those parties deemed as beneficiaries.

To ensure that your friends and loved ones receive the contents of your estate upon your passing on, it is extremely important to make a will, or have a will made on your behalf by a lawyer qualified to do so.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Custodial Agreement

    An arrangement whereby one holds an asset or property on behalf ...
  2. Widow's Exemption

    In general terms, a widow's exemption refers to the amount that ...
  3. Exordium Clause

    A clause most often at the opening of a will that declares that ...
  4. Estate Planning

    The collection of preparation tasks that serve to manage an individual's ...
  5. Non-Contestability Clause

    1. A provision in a person's will designed to stop beneficiaries ...
  6. Estate

    All of the valuable things an individual owns, such as real estate, ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    Estate Planning: 16 Things To Do Before You Die

    Find out what you need to prepare to avoid serious estate planning mistakes.
  2. Retirement

    What Is A Will And Why Do I Need One?

    Putting this document together will save your family time and money, and give you peace of mind.
  3. Retirement

    6 Ways To Lose Your Estate

    Find out why you shouldn't put off putting your affairs in order.
  4. Retirement

    Why You Should Draft A Will

    Don't trust the courts to follow your wishes - plan the distribution of your own assets.
  5. Options & Futures

    Getting Started On Your Estate Plan

    With some preparation, you can save your heirs from paying a hefty estate tax. Here are some tips.
  6. Options & Futures

    Three Documents You Shouldn't Do Without

    Estate planning is not just about the division of assets after you die. Read on to save your loved ones extra grief.
  7. Retirement

    Refusing An Inheritance

    Contrary to popular belief, inheriting assets isn't always a good thing. Find out what to do if you want to disclaim them.
  8. Retirement

    Skipping-Out on Probate Costs

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

    Estate Planning Basics

    Deciding what will happen to your assets when you pass away is a must - no matter how wealthy you are.
  10. Investing

    Advising FAs: Explaining Estate Planning to a Client

    As the old saying goes, you can't take it with you. For this reason, it is important to have a current estate plan in place to protect your family and belongings.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does the trust maker transfer funds into a revocable trust?

    Once a revocable trust is created, a trust maker transfers funds or property into the trust by including them in a list with ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between a revocable trust and a living trust?

    A revocable trust and living trust are separate terms that describe the same thing: a trust in which the terms can be changed ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is a family Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

    A family limited liability company (LLC) is formed by family members to conduct business in a state that permits such form ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How is maintenance of standard of living for survivors accomplished in estate planning?

    Estate planning is an integral component of comprehensive financial planning, as it allows individuals and couples to maintain ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is the difference between an intervivos trust and a testamentary trust?

    Estate planning offers tools to establish and maintain effective control over cash, investment and real estate assets during ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What are the differences between a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified ...

    The differences between a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) are many, but comes down ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Dog And Pony Show

    A colloquial term that generally refers to a presentation or seminar to market new products or services to potential buyers.
  2. Topless Meeting

    A meeting in which participants are not allowed to use laptops. A topless meeting organizer can also ban the use of smartphones, ...
  3. Hedging Transaction

    A type of transaction that limits investment risk with the use of derivatives, such as options and futures contracts. Hedging ...
  4. Bogey

    A buzzword that refers to a benchmark used to evaluate a fund's performance. The benchmark is an index that reflects the ...
  5. Xetra

    An all-electronic trading system based in Frankfurt, Germany. Launched in 1997 and operated by the Deutsche Börse, the Xetra ...
  6. Nuncupative Will

    A verbal will that must have two witnesses and can only deal with the distribution of personal property. A nuncupative will ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!