Definition - What does Intestacy Rules mean?
Intestacy rules are the regulations in place on a state level which govern the administration of a person's estate when the person dies without a will. The act of dying without a will is being intestate. The intestacy rules govern who is able to inherit before or over another beneficiary. For instance, it is normal that a surviving spouse would be the first to inherit all property that is owned jointly between spouses and 50% of all assets that are owned individually. If there is no surviving spouse then an intricate hierarchy is followed to find the benefactor. An executor will be appointed who will then be responsible for disbursing proportionally to all other beneficiaries.
Justipedia explains Intestacy Rules
The intestacy rules are generally quite complex but exhaustive in nature in the sense that regulations dictate every possible eventuality that could transpire being a living beneficiary and a deceased person who died intestate. Over a set time frame, the state or government will look for the beneficiary as dictated in the intestacy rules. If none is found, the estate will be forfeited to the government or local municipality.