The State of New York may eventually “inherit” an estate worth in the neighborhood of $40 million if heirs of the decedent are not located. Despite an international search, no heirs have yet been located.
The estate is that of Roman Blum who died in 2012 at the age of 97. Born in Poland, Blum was a holocaust survivor who eventually made his way to the United States where he got into real estate development. Blum was married for fifty years but divorced his wife over a decade ago. The couple was never able to have children according to friends. While Blum socialized with a tight group of other holocaust survivors, much of his life remained a mystery even to them.
Because no Last Will and Testament was located, the estate is being handled by a public administrator who has launched a global search for heirs. A professional genealogist has even been retained to help with the search; however, to date no living heirs have been located. If no heirs are found after three years, the remaining assets in the estate will be transferred to the State of New York’s unclaimed property fund. If that occurs, it will be the largest estate ever left to the State of New York.
Although we may not all have a $40 million estate to leave behind, Mr. Blum’s lack of estate planning highlights what will happen to your estate if you fail to take the time to create even a basic estate plan.