Definition of intestate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtɛsteɪt/


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.


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.



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.


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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in¦tes|tate

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