A Holocaust survivor who created a $40 million fortune in real estate died without a will last year. Because a world wide search for relatives has turned up none, New York state will receive his fortune.

Several points:

1.  Escheating to the state is incredibly rare because the laws of intestacy look for any living relative, including cousins and their descendants and any one who falls under the nebulous term “next of kin.”

2.  A 97 year old man who is in failing health should not procrastinate in his will preparation.

3.  His fellow Holocaust survivor who said  “He was a very smart man but he died like an idiot” is accurate.