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.


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.