This paper examines the provision made for the surviving spouse of an intestate. It traces the development of the current law, and looks back to the Law Commission's proposal in 1989 that the surviving spouse of an intestate should in all cases take the whole estate. That recommendation was rejected. Now that the Law Commission is examining this question afresh, should the same recommendation be made? And what should the law do, if anything, to provide for the children of an intestate where they are not the children of the surviving spouse - bearing in mind that only in a relatively small minority of intestate estates do the rules make any provision for them?