What does Intestacy mean?
Intestacy is where a person dies without having made a Will or where the Will they have made is found to be invalid.
Consequences of Intestacy
The consequence of intestacy is that the Succession Act of 1965 directs the division of the assets in accordance to the blood relationship of surviving family members to the deceased person. If there are no living blood relations surviving the deceased then the deceased's assets are forfeited to the State.
Distribution on Intestacy (Where no Will was made)
|Relatives Surviving||Distribution of Share|
|Spouse and children||Spouse two thirds, children one third|
|Spouse and no children||Spouse takes all|
|Children and no spouse||Children take all|
|Parents & siblings||Each parent takes half|
|One parent & siblings||Parent takes all|
|Siblings only||All take in equal shares,|
|with children of a predeceased sibling|
|taking their parent's share|
|Nephews & nieces only||All take in equal shares|
|Uncles & aunts||All take in equal shares|
|First cousin, great uncle |
/aunt, great nephew/niece
|All take in equal shares|
N.B. If a child predeceases his parents leaving a child or children then that child takes his parent's share or if more than one that share is divided equally amongst the children. The person appointed to act as Administrator is determined at the date of death of the deceased. This person will be the person who stands closest in blood relationship to the deceased - N.B. a surviving spouse will be preferred over a child. The procedure to extract the Grant in intestacy cases is similar to that involved in extracting the Grant of Probate where there is a Will (see section on Probate).