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No luck identifying beneficiaries of multi-millionaire's estate

A 97-year-old millionaire who died in 2012 did not leave behind any kind of will and testimony. As such, the fate of his $40 million estate continues to be in question. So far, authorities have failed at identifying beneficiaries who could be the legal heirs of the man’s estate. This is an out-of-state case; however, situations like this do occur from time to time in Texas and other areas of the country.

In the instant matter, ever since the man’s passing, a court-appointed public administrator has been conducting an international search to try to find a living heir. Two people have stepped forward to file official claims. One, which was submitted in October of last year, is currently being reviewed. The other, which was only recently submitted, includes a love letter written in 1987, in which the deceased man allegedly bequeathed his estate to an ex-lover in Poland.

The public administrator of this New York estate says that they have already received claims by email in which people cite romantic connections to the man. As such, this recently filed formal complaint is being viewed with skepticism. Also, anyone who makes a claim to the fortune will need to pass the test of proof. Otherwise, the money will go to New York City’s Department of Finance. At this time, the Department of Finance houses a total of $12 billion worth of unclaimed assets.

Texas residents, who are entitled to unclaimed assets, could become the beneficiaries of those assets if they file suitable claims in court. Identifying beneficiaries in such cases could be a simple matter of submitting appropriate genealogical records. In other cases, if the fate of an estate is being disputed by multiple heirs, each will need to provide evidence of his or her right to the estate. Ultimately, the courts strive to distribute assets among heirs as fairly as possible, but sometimes legal measures are required to ensure that an individual receives his or her rightful share.

Source: tabletmag.com, "Holocaust Survivor's $40 Million Estate Lingers", Isabel Fattal, June 6, 2014

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