Definition of intestate in US English:



  • 1predicative Not having made a will before one dies.

    ‘he died intestate’
    postpositive ‘in the event of his death intestate’
    • ‘We looked at the issues around bestowing property on another party, when people die intestate.’
    • ‘The Curator could also be called upon to administer, manage and discharge the debts and liabilities of any person presumed dead, intestate or if their will could not be located.’
    • ‘If your daughter were to die intestate, or without a valid will being in place, this would create difficulties in settling her estate.’
    • ‘If you die intestate - without having made a will - the Succession Act provides that your spouse is entitled to your entire estate if there are no children.’
    • ‘Secondly, there are rules determining how an estate is to be distributed where the deceased died intestate.’
    • ‘In Spain, for example, dying intestate would oblige you to leave at least two-thirds of your property to your children - and if you have remarried or have a partner to whom you are not married, this could create difficulties.’
    • ‘In most cases, it is the intestate heirs - those that stand to inherit if the will were to be overturned and the decedent were to be treated as if he died intestate - that have standing.’
    • ‘One thing that started to bother me was the realisation that I had made no will: I had the idea that for me to die intestate would cause all sorts of horrible complications for my wife.’
    • ‘Although plagued by gout, he did not anticipate his early death and died intestate in May 1781.’
    • ‘Having inherited some money from her beloved father, she was horrified to find out who it would go to if she died intestate.’
    • ‘He had died intestate and alone leaving £9m, and a tangled relationship with his family.’
    • ‘If you die intestate - without making a will - the intestacy laws decide how your money is shared out in England and Wales.’
    • ‘If you die intestate, the Succession Act provides that your spouse is entitled to your entire estate if there are no children.’
    • ‘A will can help you avoid the pitfalls of dying intestate; however, even if you have a will, your assets will still be subjected to the timely and costly probate process (court involvement).’
    • ‘Currently under English law if you die intestate (ie without a will) your estate (all of your property) will pass to those whom the law thinks should get it.’
    • ‘They do not have an automatic right to a share in Peter's estate unless he dies intestate.’
    • ‘The problems that dying intestate can cause are vast and it can take a long time to sort out.’
    • ‘The Public Trustee knows of countless stories where the wrong people end up with the money because someone dies intestate (without a will).’
    • ‘The winding up of the estate is usually delayed when a person dies intestate, as no Executor is nominated and the Master of the High Court needs to follow certain procedures in the appointment of an Executor.’
    • ‘In 1994 in the New Territories, lineage leaders complained about urban and colonialist meddling when the government decided to let women inherit land when the deceased had no sons and died intestate.’
    1. 1.1attributive Relating to a person who dies without having made a will.
      ‘his brother's posthumous children are admissible as intestate heirs’
      • ‘Both landlord and tenant have legal estates which may pass to others on sale, by way of gift or under the rules of testate or intestate succession.’
      • ‘The good thing about intestate succession laws is that they usually mirror the deceased's wishes anyway.’
      • ‘If your will is not executed with the requisite formalities your state will most likely not recognize the Will and it will then become subject to intestate succession.’
      • ‘If there are no descendants, but only a surviving spouse, the surviving spouse will inherit the entire intestate estate.’
      • ‘It will pass according to the laws of intestate succession.’
      • ‘An illegitimate child had no rights of intestate succession from the estate of the father and had such rights with respect to the estate of the mother only if she had left no legitimate issue.’
      • ‘If there are surviving issue of the decedent one or more of whom are not issue of the surviving spouse, one-half of the intestate estate.’
      • ‘This case related to the Indian Succession Act which is a comprehensive law of intestate and testamentary succession.’
      • ‘Check out the laws on intestate succession in your state; they're the statutes that govern if someone dies without a will.’
      • ‘The law aimed at radically excluding women from intestate succession by upholding municipal law, which excluded women, over Roman law, which did not.’
      • ‘The part of the intestate estate not passing to the surviving spouse under § 502 of this title, or the entire intestate estate if there is no surviving spouse, passes as follows.’
      • ‘He also put in place a temporary regime to govern intestate succession in black estates until the legislation is changed.’
      • ‘National law dictates that a surviving widow is entitled to a third of intestate property, with the remaining two-thirds apportioned among the deceased's heirs, including daughters.’
      • ‘Formal legal codes and courts often handle these disputes and govern the disposal of property in cases of intestate succession.’
      • ‘The law also, through a recent amendment gives domestic partners an intestate share equivalent to that of a spouse.’
      • ‘The statute then requires all state and local government officials to treat civil unions as tantamount to marriages, for purposes of child custody, divorce, intestate succession, wrongful death litigation, and so on.’
      • ‘A person leaving only a codicil implicitly acknowledges intestate succession for all belongings that are not left to legatees.’
      • ‘All children whether born within or outside a legal marriage, are entitled to share in the intestate estate.’
      • ‘If this were to happen in the U.S., intestate succession laws would come into play, and your relatives would have to go through probate to claim ownership of assets, perhaps even fight over assets.’
      • ‘Click on the topics below for more information as to how the intestate estate will devolve.’


  • A person who has died without having made a will.

    • ‘And the observation applies equally to a share of the residue of an intestate's estate.’
    • ‘A personal representative has an action of account as the testator or intestate might have had if he or she had lived.’


Late Middle English: from Latin intestatus, from in- ‘not’ + testatus ‘testified, witness’ (see testate).