In Anglo-American law, one who dies without a valid will is said to have died "intestate" ("without an estate (will)").

The law of course does not leave the property of such a person floating around without any owner. In the United States, the matter is handled by statute. The property of such a person (in most States) goes first to the surviving spouse; if none, to children or grandchildren; if none, to parents; if none, to siblings; if none, to closest living blood relatives. If none can be found, property escheats to the state.

Make a will. You're young? You think you won't die? Make a will. Automobiles are always with us. Not to mention other unforeseen circumstances.

In*tes"tate (?), a. [L. intestatus; pref. in- not + testatus, p. p. of testari to make a will: cf. F. intestat. See Testament.]


Without having made a valid will; without a will; as, to die intestate.


Airy succeeders of intestate joys. Shak.


Not devised or bequeathed; not disposed of by will; as, an intestate estate.


© Webster 1913.

In*tes"tate, n. Law

A person who dies without making a valid will.



© Webster 1913.

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