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Related to intestacy: intestate


The state or condition of dying without having made a valid will or without having disposed by will of a segment of the property of the decedent.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. the condition of having died without a valid will. In such a case if the dead party has property it will be distributed according to statutes, primarily by the law of descent and distribution and others dealing with marital property and community property (all going to a surviving spouse). In probate the administration of the estate of a person without a will is handled by an administrator (usually a close relative, the spouse, a close associate), or a public administrator if there is no one willing to act, since there is no executor named in a will. In most states an administrator must petition the court to be appointed and must post a bond from an insurance company guaranteeing that it will pay the value of the assets he/she/it may steal or misuse. (See: will, intestate, probate)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


the state of dying, leaving property undisposed of by will. This may be because the testator has failed to make a will at all or because his will does not make any effective disposition of property (total intestacy) or because his will effectively disposes of some, but not all, of his property (partial intestacy). The distribution of the intestate estate is made according to detailed rules.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

INTESTACY. The state or condition of dying without a will.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
(38) Because Sherri is not Decedent's legal child under the intestacy statute, Bella was likewise not the legal grandchild of Decedent.
"It's much more personal and reassuring than the broad brush approach of the intestacy rules," he added.
therefore, the court held, Florida intestacy law applied to the case.
Professor Sayre remarked in 1929 that "[e]ven a cursory examination of the current digests will disclose the large number of cases involving partial intestacy which appear in the reports every year," (6) and that observation remains no less true today.
(122) Concubines have the right to inherit property through intestacy but either party within the relationship may terminate a concubinage at will, without the consent of the other party, (123) Two important cases involving Mexican concubinage within the United States both resulted in concubinage being rejected as a valid marriage by California courts.
The rules governing intestacy - or the divvying up of the deceased's remaining assets - can lead to frozen bank accounts and eventual inheritance outcomes that would come as a surprise to people from many other parts of the world.
However, any assets held in the deceased's sole name fall under the intestacy rules.
If you don't write a will, then intestacy laws apply.
(3) Unless passed by joint tenancy with rights of survivorship or beneficiary designation, these assets will likely be distributed through the probate process under the state intestacy statutes.
As a member of the national committee, the New South Wales ("NSW") Law Reform commission was responsible for examining intestacy laws in Australia and for making recommendations for the proposed model national uniform laws.
Equity, of course, is "grounded on the theory that what should have been done will be done." (11) As the Florida Supreme Court has stated, "[t]he true meaning of these maxims of equity is that equity will treat the subject matter, as to collateral consequences and incidents, in the same manner as if the final acts contemplated of the parties had been executed exactly as they ought to have been" (12) The doctrine of virtual adoption specifically is intended "to avoid unfair results from the application of intestacy statutes." (13) Though the cases to date have directly addressed only inheritance under intestacy statutes, they do not specifically limit application of the doctrine to inheritance issues.