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Definition of 'Intestate'

Intestate is a legal term that refers to a person who dies without a will. This can have significant consequences for the deceased's estate, as it may be distributed according to the laws of the state in which they died, rather than according to the deceased's wishes.

There are a number of reasons why someone might die intestate. They may not have had the time or resources to create a will, or they may have simply not thought about it. In some cases, people may intentionally choose to die intestate, as they believe that this will give their loved ones more freedom to decide how to distribute their assets.

If you die intestate, your estate will be distributed according to the laws of the state in which you died. These laws vary from state to state, but they generally provide for the following:

* Your spouse or domestic partner will receive a share of your estate, typically the first $150,000 plus one-half of the remainder.
* Your children will receive a share of your estate, typically one-third each.
* If you have no spouse or children, your estate will be distributed to your parents, siblings, or other relatives.

If there are no living relatives, your estate will escheat to the state.

There are a number of steps you can take to avoid dying intestate. First, you should make a will. This is a legal document that specifies how you want your assets to be distributed after your death. You can create a will yourself, or you can use an attorney to help you.

If you are unable to make a will, you can appoint a guardian for your minor children. This person will be responsible for taking care of your children and managing their assets until they reach the age of majority.

You can also create a living trust. This is a legal document that allows you to control your assets while you are alive and after your death. A living trust can be used to avoid probate, which is the court-supervised process of distributing your assets after your death.

If you are concerned about dying intestate, you should speak to an attorney. An attorney can help you understand your options and create the appropriate estate planning documents.

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