Intestacy is the legal term used to describe a situation where a person has died and has not left behind a will or any binding declaration to say what should be done with their property. Examples of how you may hear this term being used include: “He/she died intestate” or “He/she died in intestacy”.
Sometimes, a person who has died may have left behind a valid will or a binding declaration, but this will, or declaration may only apply to part of their estate. The person who has died may have forgotten or neglected to update their will to include the entirety of their estate, and so it is now unclear what should happen with a chunk of their property now that they have passed away. Those items that are not covered by the will or declaration are known as the ‘intestate estate’.