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.

  1. Probate

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

    An individual appointed to administrate the estate of a deceased ...
  3. Deceased Account

    A deceased account is a bank account, such as a savings or checking ...
  4. IRS Publication 559: Survivors, ...

    A document published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that ...
  5. Heir

    HeirA person who inherits some or all of the estate of another ...
  6. Intestacy

    The condition of an estate of an individual who dies with property ...
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