(law) A person who dies without making a valid will.
Other Word Forms
Origin of intestate
Middle English from Old French intestatfrom Latin intestātusin-notin–1testātustestatefrompast participle oftestārīto make a willtestament
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
From Latinintestātus, from in- (“not”) + testātus (“testate”).
Intestate Sentence Examples
If the husband dies intestate, leaving no descendants and no paternal or maternal kindred, the whole of his estate goes to his widow absolutely.
The patroon was the legal heir of all his colonists who died intestate.
The policy of many, particularly of those which deal with ecclesiastical matters, may also be condemned; yet some gratitude is due to the legislator who put the law of intestate succession on that plain and rational footing whereon it has ever since continued to stand.
If the husband dies intestate, leaving a widow and issue, either by her or by a former marriage, the widow is entitled to at least one-third of his personal estate; if he leaves no issue by her, she is entitled to so much of his personal estate as was acquired by him by virtue of his marriage with.
With regard to the devolution of property upon death, it may be remarked that the law of intestate succession applies equally to real and personal estate, there being no law of primogeniture.