May 17, 2013

The state of New York will be $40 million dollars richer thanks to Roman Blum a millionaire real estate developer and Holocaust survivor who died without a will or any sort of estate plan in place.

Mr. Blum was childless and his wife had pre-deceased him further complicating the task of locating any of his surviving relatives to take over his estate. Officials have hired a genealogist to search for any relevant heirs. In the meantime the Surrogates court is using his estate to pay his taxes and the people hired to conduct a search for any will that he may have drafted in his lifetime, if none is found the money will then be passed over to New York State.

Public administrators handling his case have sold his home and auctioned off his personal assets such as jewelry and furniture.

Mr. Blum may not have had a child or a wife to leave his estate to but anyone else who cared for him and that he cared for as well will no longer receive any portion of his wealth even if he had wanted to leave something for them.

No one knows why Mr. Blum did not draft a will, possibly because he did not want to contemplate his mortality, but whatever his reasons for failing to plan what he left behind is the largest unclaimed estate in the history of New York State.