Most successful New Jersey residents leave their financial assets to their heirs, who are usually their children, grandchildren, and other relatives. However, in rare cases, people die without a will, and the courts are left with the task of sorting out their estates. In general, if no one is identified as an heir to the fortune, the state receives the assets.
By the end of developer Roman Blum’s life, he had amassed a $40 million fortune, which would have been a sizeable sum for his heirs. However, for an unknown reason, Blum neglected to draft a will, which means that his assets will be left to the state as long as no one else claims them.
Blum’s attorney was reportedly surprised when an upstate New York man claimed to be his late client’s sole heir. It is unknown whether the man has some familial connection to Blum, or if he had received any written or oral indication from Blum that he was entitled to his estate.
Now that the upstate New York man has submitted a will for review, it is up to the county court to determine whether or not it will uphold the will. Because the state would receive the fortune if the man’s will were denied, the court may be inclined to reject the man’s will.
Fortunately, this case is not typical. Through wills, the process of distributing property and assets is made simple. People who are interested in leaving their assets to their descendants may want to talk to an estate-planning attorney.
Source: Staten Island Advance, “Upstate man, claiming to be sole heir to Staten Island developer’s $40M fortune, files will in court,” Ryan Lavis, Sep. 19, 2013