The State of New York may be the recipient of an intestate estate valued at over $40 million if no heirs are located. The estate in question belongs to Roman Blum, a real estate developer who died last year at the age of 97 and apparently left behind no family.
Mr. Blum was a holocaust survivor who was born in Poland. Details of his life prior to moving to the United States in the 1940s are somewhat of a mystery; however, he was once married but divorced his wife after 50 years of marriage. That marriage produced no children – that much is known. While Blum was close to a group of other holocaust survivors and their families, no one knows of any potential surviving family members here or in any other country.
Because a Last Will and Testament was not found, a public administrator was appointed to oversee the administration of the estate. The administrator has been looking throughout the United States as well as oversees to try and locate any remaining heirs to the estate, yet none have been found to date. Why the decedent failed to leave behind a Will is unknown; however, friends think it may boil down to long held superstitions as a result of surviving the holocaust.
If no heirs are found, the entire estate will eventually pass to the State of New York’s unclaimed property fund. Eventually, the State will become the beneficiary of the estate under the intestate estate laws of the state of New York.
Blum’s estate illustrates all too well the need for everyone to create at least a Last Will and Testament. For additional information, join us at an upcoming estate planning seminar.
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