What is intestacy?
Intestacy arises when a person dies without leaving a will or leaves a will that does not distribute the estate in its entirety. Of course, intestacy should be avoided and when it occurs, the estate will be distributed according to intestacy laws, which may be entirely contrary to the wishes of the deceased.
What happens if no will has been left?
Intestacy laws set out a list of people who are entitled to receive a share of the estate of the deceased. Whilst the law provides some structure and certainty in what is often a difficult process, the result is that there is no protection or tax effectiveness provision, no control over who administers the estate, no nomination of guardian of children and often, disputes may arise over whom is the next of kin.