A person who dies without leaving a will is said to have died intestate, and the estate passes to the next of the deceased.

Intestacy can occur if:

  • The person does not have a will;
  • Their will is not valid; or
  • Their will only disposes some of their property.

The biggest disadvantage of intestacy is that the deceased has no control over the distribution of his estate, which, by law, should be must be distributed among the deceased’s nearest blood relatives, whether they have been close to the testator or not. Therefore, it is best avoided by having a properly constructed will which mentions how your estate will be distributed.

Intestacy should be avoided because:

  • No control over who administers the estate;
  • Administration costs are expensive;
  • No control over who benefits from the estate; and
  • Dispute about who is considered as “next to kin”.

There are various provisions for the distribution of the intestate’s estate to the next of the kin.