When you go through life without an estate plan you are taking the risk of dying intestate. There are intestacy laws of succession that would hold sway if you die without a will or a trust stating your final wishes.
While these laws allow for your closest relatives to inherit your assets, the specific distributions may not be in line with what you would prefer. Plus, it would take the probate court a good bit of time to sort everything out if you don’t leave behind any instructions.
But what if you had no relatives at all? This may be the case with a wealthy New York resident named Roman Blum who died in January of 2012.
According to an article that is appearing on the Forbes website Blum, who was 97 years of age at the time of his death, was a very successful real estate developer. He passed away in possession of approximately $40 million in financial assets.
That’s a lot of money that could have done someone or some organization a lot of good. However, because Blum died intestate and he did not have any relatives that have been found the state may wind up absorbing this considerable fortune.
The Forbes article states that under New York State law anyone who claims to be related to a decedent who passed away intestate must come forward within three years. The state has been making an effort to find any relative that may exist, but to this point their search has been unsuccessful.