Experts counsel people both in San Jose and throughout the rest of the U.S. to see to their estate planning early on in their adult lives. Yet even so, many American adults do not have a will. What happens, then, if you have a family member dies without ever preparing one? In such a case, their estate becomes subject to intestate succession. "Intestate" is the word applied to cases where one dies without a will, and the terms regarding how their estate will be dispersed are set forth by the state.