What If There Is No Will?

If a person dies without a Will the probate court appoints a Personal Representative frequently called an "Administrator" or "Administratix" to receive all claims against the estate, pay creditors, and then distribute all remaining property in accordance with the intestacy laws of the state.

The major difference between dying testate and dying intestate is that without a valid Will an intestate estate is distributed to beneficiaries in accordance with the distribution plan established by state law; a testate estate is distributed in accordance with the instructions provided by the decedent in his/her Will.