What is intestacy?
Intestacy is a legal term that refers to the situation where someone dies without a will. When a person dies without having made a will, his or her estate is said to pass by "intestacy." In other words, it's distributed according to the state's laws of intestacy.
With intestacy, your property is distributed according to the law rather than your wishes. While intestacy laws provide a basic framework for how assets are to be distributed, in many cases it is not entirely clear how the estate is supposed to be distributed to the intestate heirs. Adding to the difficulty is trying to locate all the intestate heirs since the law treats all intestate heirs the same. In other words, if the law says your cousins are to get a percentage of your estate, then ALL of your cousins are entitled to that percentage, not just the few the decedent happened to be in touch with. Trying to locate these family menders is no easy task and will usually require a lawyer or other professionals to help which means more costs.
If you are an heir to a property through intestacy, you may have been expecting that the deceased would have made a will. Whether or not this was their intention, you should always make sure that your own affairs are in order so that if something happens to you suddenly, there is no confusion about who inherits your possessions.