- Intestate law or, what is also known as intestacy, is a set of guidelines governing the transfer of a person's property or estate to their beneficiaries. These policies are typically used when some or all of the person's property is not bequeathed in a last will and testament. However, there is no single canon of laws regarding intestacy and there may be differences depending on the location of residence such as the state.
- One of the normal practices regarding intestate succession is the favoring of the spouse. Should the deceased not have articulated her wishes regarding the distribution of her property in a will, then the more significant share of it will be handed over to the surviving husband. As stated before though, there are variations. Texas, for example, allows for 1/3 of the property to be awarded to the spouse while the remainder is given to "children or descendants."
- Many cases of intestacy law include children as foremost among possible heirs if there is no will to follow. In some cases, law specifically addresses the particulars of distinguishing between full-blood children and half-blood children. The state of Delaware makes no distinction in the sense that each get an equal award by law. Also, Delaware considers any child in the womb yet unborn when the parent (obviously the father) dies to have been living at the time of his passing and thus eligible as an heir.
- As you might expect, the parents of a deceased person are also highly involved in the distribution of goods through intestacy.There is also the possibility that if a deceased person's spouse died before them, and if that deceased person's parents are also no longer living, then the spouse's parents will receive that part of the estate. Siblings and those considered "next of kin" are entitled to different portions as well provided the differences in local law and the individual circumstances of the case.