Intestate (or Intestacy)

The situation where a person has passed away without a Will. The term only applies where the person has an estate upon their death, meaning that they have greater assets than debts. An administrator will be appointed in this case to distribute the estate in accordance with intestacy law. Intestacy law will typically distribute assets to direct heirs, but is flexible in the case of those with special requirements such as to provide for the care of disabled children. If the deceased has a living spouse or civil partner then the first £250,000 of the estate, and half of the amount above this, will go to the spouse and the remainder to the children. In the event of no legal heir the estate will escheats (given to) the Crown, the Duchies of Cornwall or Lancaster.