escheat


escheat
escheatable, adj.
/es cheet"/, Law.
n.
1. the reverting of property to the state or some agency of the state, or, as in England, to the lord of the fee or to the crown, when there is a failure of persons legally qualified to inherit or to claim.
2. the right to take property subject to escheat.
v.i.
3. to revert by escheat, as to the crown or the state.
v.t.
4. to make an escheat of; confiscate.
[1250-1300; ME eschete < OF eschete, escheoite, fem. ptp. of escheoir < VL *excadere to fall to a person's share, equiv. to L ex- EX-1 + cadere to fall (VL cadere)]

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law
      in feudal English land law, the return or forfeiture to the lord of land held by his tenant. There were generally two conditions by which land would escheat: the death of the tenant without heirs or the conviction of the tenant for a felony. In case of felony, the land would lose its inheritability and escheat to the lord, who would then hold the land subject to the crown's right to exploit the felon's lands for a year and a day. In time, this exploitation right of the crown was commuted in return for a money payment or service rendered to the crown by the lord. In the case of a tenant convicted of high treason, however, his land escheated directly to the crown, and the lord forfeited all rights he had in that tenant's lands completely. The escheat of lands for felony was abolished by statute in England in 1870; and by a statute enacted in 1925, no longer does land escheat to its former owner solely for failure of heirs. In the United States, laws passed in all states provide that land will escheat to the state (county or city) if an owner dies without a valid will and if no heirs can be found. See also attainder.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

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  • escheat — es·cheat 1 /is chēt/ n [Anglo French eschete reversion of property, from Old French escheoite accession, inheritance, from feminine past participle of escheoir to fall (to), befall, ultimately from Latin ex out + cadere to fall] 1: escheated… …   Law dictionary

  • Escheat — is a common law doctrine that operates to ensure that property is not left in limbo and ownerless. It originally referred to a number of situations where a legal interest in land was destroyed by operation of law, so that the ownership of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Escheat — Es*cheat , n. [OE. eschete, escheyte, an escheat, fr. OF. escheit, escheoit, escheeite, esheoite, fr. escheoir (F. [ e]choir) to fall to, fall to the lot of; pref. es (L. ex) + cheoir, F. choir, to fall, fr. L. cadere. See {Chance}, and cf.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • escheat — [es chēt′] n. [ME eschete < OFr, lit., that which falls to one < pp. of escheoir, to fall to one s share < VL * excadere, to fall upon < L ex , out + cadere, to fall: see CASE1] Law 1. the reverting of property to the lord of the… …   English World dictionary

  • Escheat — Es*cheat , v. t. (Law) To forfeit. Bp. Hall. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Escheat — Es*cheat , v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Esheated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Escheating}.] (Law) To revert, or become forfeited, to the lord, the crown, or the State, as lands by the failure of persons entitled to hold the same, or by forfeiture. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • escheat — (n.) the reverting of land to a king or lord in certain cases, early 14c., from Anglo Fr. eschete (late 13c.), from O.Fr. eschete succession, inheritance, originally fem. pp. of escheoir, from L.L. *excadere to fall out, from L. ex out, away (see …   Etymology dictionary

  • escheat — Reversion of monies or securities to the state in which the securityholder was last known to reside, when no claim by the securityholder has been made after a certain period of time fixed by state law. This is known as the holding period or cut… …   Financial and business terms

  • escheat — /əsˈtʃit/ (say uhs cheet) noun 1. (formerly) the reversion of land to the feudal lord or the Crown in the absence of heirs of the owner. 2. property or a possession which reverts by escheat. 3. the right to take property subject to escheat. –verb …   Australian English dictionary

  • escheat — es•cheat [[t]ɛsˈtʃit[/t]] Law. 1) law the reverting of property to the state or, as in England, to the crown when there are no legal heirs 2) law the right to take property subject to escheat 3) law (of property) to revert by escheat 4) law to… …   From formal English to slang