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Escheat Law Definition

December 8, 2014

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Term Definition
A doctrine that transfers the ownership of unclaimed property to the state if owners or heirs fail to claim that property.

Extended Definition
Refers to the power a state holds over an unclaimed property if no heir or owner makes a claim. If the property owner dies without clearly indicating an heir or heirs in a valid will, or without relatives legally entitled to the property, the state legislature enacts the statute and takes over. This situation is known as a dying intestate’ and the property is escheated to the state. This law pertains to property and lands held by individuals, groups, and businesses.

Related Article:
What is Escheat Law?

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