When no will is left by a deceased person they are said to have died intestate. Dying intestate means no will is left setting out what is to be done with the deceased’s property. Who is entitled to take their estate?
Intestacy (no valid will)
There is no requirement that an executor must accept the executorship role, even if it was agreed to do so. But relinquishing executorship should be done as soon as practical if you don’t wish to act and have not dealt with the estate. You can resign your appointment as executor by renouncing your right to probate of the deceased’s will, that is you renounce probate.
In succession law the court has discretionary power under family provision legislation to order provision from a deceased person’s estate to “eligible” applicants and in certain circumstances. It is not automatic.
The legal rules were introduced to remedy situations where willmakers failed to leave adequate provision for close family and certain other dependents as defined. It is not for second bites at the cherry. The court has wide power in deciding who pays costs of proceedings.
A family tree outlining close family/next of kin relationships is useful in preparing to make a will, and as a reference in situations of intestacy.
Intestate means dying without a will. But sometimes even if a person has left a will there may be a partial intestacy. This is when the will does not effectively dispose of all of their property. If that happens the identified property falls into the residue of the estate and distributed according to what the person’s will states about disposal of the residue, and if silent, then according to the statutory intestacy rules.