One of the benefits of creating an estate plan is that you get to determine who inherits your property after you die. If you don’t take this step your property might, like that of New York real estate developer Roman Blum, be inherited by your state. In Mr. Blum’s case, it appears as if the man’s entire $40 million estate is going to be inherited by his home state of New York.
Roman Blum died in 2012 at the age of 97. He and his wife, who died in 1992, left behind no children or any identifiable relatives. Mr. Blum was a Holocaust survivor and after his death a state administrator, who had been assigned to handling the case, found no surviving relatives anywhere in the world. Under New York law, if no relatives can be found within three years after person’s death, the entire estate will be inherited by the state of New York.
While such cases where states actually inherit the property of the deceased residents are rare, all states have laws that allow for this process. When you die without a last will and testament, your closest family members will inherit your property under the laws of intestacy. State intestacy laws determine who stands to inherit under such circumstances, and in the event when no relatives survive you, the state itself will become your legal heir under a law known as escheat.
Unless a living relative can be found, the Blum estate will become the largest single intestate estate in New York history to transfer to the state.
You can learn a lot more about ensuring you leave an inheritance by attending our next free legacy wealth planning workshop. Contact our office for registration details.