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97-year-old man with $40 million estate died with no known heirs or will

Making plans for the distribution of your estate is always a wise step, regardless of how old you may be. Many people often put off estate planning, thinking they will have time to take care of it sometime in the future. For others, making a plan for their estate may never cross their mind. It is important for all Georgia residents, no matter the size of the estate, to be proactive to ensure their property is distributed in the way they desire.

Recently, a 97-year-old man passed away in New York. In this particular situation, reports indicate the man’s estate is worth approximately $40 million. What makes the case unusual is that, as of yet, no will has been recovered.

The man was a Holocaust survivor who came to the United States from Poland. He made his fortune in real estate. Although he was married for a period of time, he was divorced at the time of his death and has no known children. No other family members have yet been identified.

Currently, local officials have started to sell his belongings, including his house, furniture and jewelry. Part of his estate will be used to initiate a search to determine whether he created a will at some point in his life. Another portion of the estate will be used to look for any living relatives he may have, as some have speculated that he may have relatives still in Poland or other areas in Europe. If authorities are unable to identify a will or any living relatives, the value of the man’s estate will be transferred to the state.

Source: Star Tribune, “Holocaust survivor left $40 million, but no heirs,” Julie Satow, April 27, 2013.