Dying intestate – when there is no will left or an invalid one

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By B Stead

If a deceased person has not left a will, or if no document appearing to be a will can be found, they are said to have died intestate.  Here is an outline on how succession law rules operate to distribute an intestate person’s property; who is entitled to inherit.

The meaning of ‘intestate’

‘Intestate’ is a defined term in all state and territory legislation dealing with intestacy.  It is defined with similar wording throughout, such as that in section 102 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW):

An intestate is someone who has died and either not left a will or left one which does not dispose effectively by the will all or part of their property. More