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intestate Line breaks: in¦tes|tate
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtɛsteɪt/

Definition of intestate in English:


Not having made a will before one dies: he died intestate
More example sentences
  • The Public Trustee knows of countless stories where the wrong people end up with the money because someone dies intestate (without a will).
  • He had died intestate and alone leaving £9m, and a tangled relationship with his family.
  • The Curator could also be called upon to administer, manage and discharge the debts and liabilities of any person presumed dead, intestate or if their will could not be located.


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A person who has died without having made a will.
Example sentences
  • And the observation applies equally to a share of the residue of an intestate's estate.
  • A personal representative has an action of account as the testator or intestate might have had if he or she had lived.


Late Middle English: from Latin intestatus, from in- 'not' + testatus 'testified, witness' (see testate).

  • testicle from Late Middle English:

    The ancient Romans felt that a man's testicles testified that he was male. They formed the word testiculus from Latin testis ‘witness’, the source also of attest (late 16th century); detest (Late Middle English) which originally meant to denounce; protest (Late Middle English); testify (Late Middle English); and intestate (Late Middle English) ‘without a witnessed will’. The testicles were the ‘witnesses’ of the man's virility.



Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtɛstəsi/
Example sentences
  • By adopting someone who would automatically go to the front of the line for inheritance purposes in the event of intestacy, a decedent can deprive other angry relatives of standing to contest the will.
  • As noted in that Schedule, for purposes of distribution on an intestacy, the deceased was survived by fourteen nieces and nephews among whom, the net estate should have been divided equally.
  • Similar questions arise when the licensor becomes bankrupt or dies, and his trustee in bankruptcy or those entitled under his will or on intestacy seek possession of the property.

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