We came across an interesting article on the Forbes website recently that underscores the importance of estate planning. You definitely don’t want to die intestate, especially if you are in possession of considerable resources.
Intestacy is the condition of dying without having executed a last will or any other type of estate planning document that directs the transfer of your financial assets. Each state has its own specific rules of intestacy succession. In Oklahoma your spouse and your children are first in line.
Back in January of last year, a very wealthy former New York real estate developer named Roman Blum passed away at the age of 97. According to reports the overall value of his estate hovered in the vicinity of $40 million.
You would think that someone who was in possession of this much money would understand the need to put an estate plan in place. However, for unknown reasons this individual apparently passed away without having executed any estate planning documents.
No one has come forward claiming to be a relative of Blum, and the state of New York has conducted a widespread search to try to find his next of kin. So far they haven’t been able to find anyone.
What is going to happen to this money if no one materializes? Under escheat rules, the state of New York will wind up absorbing these funds if no relative can be found.
Mr. Blum could have supported a worthy cause by leaving his estate to a charity and there’s bound to be at least a few relationships that were meaningful to him. However, due to a lack of planning it looks like the state of New York may be receiving a windfall.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday