Over the past five years the state of New York has collected more than $100 million from an unlikely source: the dead.
Tens of millions of dollars left behind by people who never bothered to make out a will are dumped into an abandoned property fund, to earn interest for the state until a rightful heir turns up.
Rarely does that happen, though.
Only 20 to 25 percent of the abandoned cash is ever claimed, according to the Office of the New York State comptroller.
The state’s surrogate courts — they’re in business to sort out wills and estates — have turned over to the Comptroller roughly $70 million from the estates of people who died without wills, state officials say; another $30 million has come from the estates of people who had a will, but for whom no living heirs could be found.
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NY raked in $100M from the dead over past 5 years, records show