escheat(redirected from escheatage)
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The acquisition of property by a state or government from the estate of a deceased person. An escheat occurs when the deceased person has no will, no relatives, and no survivors to whom the property would otherwise go. Because it is rare for a person to have no relatives at all, escheats are fairly unusual. The concept has its origins in feudalism, when the immediately superior feudal lord would inherit property that would otherwise be left without an owner. Different states have different laws governing escheats.
The right of the state to claim a deceased person's property when there are no individuals legally qualified to inherit it or to make a claim to it. This occurrence is fairly unusual even when the deceased leaves no will.
The reversion of property to the state because of the lack of anyone to inherit it.