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1. (in England before 1926) the reversion of property to the Crown in the absence of legal heirs
2. (in feudal times) the reversion of property to the feudal lord in the absence of legal heirs or upon outlawry of the tenant
3. the property so reverting



in civil law, the legacy of a deceased person that does not go to his heirs. An escheat may occur if up to the day of the donor’s death there are no heirs by law or will or if none of the heirs accepts the inheritance or if the heirs are deprived of the inheritance by the will. If in the absence of heirs the will does not dispose of all the property, the unwilled part of the inheritance is recognized as the escheat.

Under Soviet law, the escheat goes to the government according to the right of inheritance. The state becomes the owner of this property, based on evidence on the right to inheritance given by a notary’s office up to six months from the day of the donor’s death. The government, in the person of local financial officials, assumes responsibility for the debts of the donor to the limit of the value of the property. Property that reverts to state ownership in this way is turned over to state, cooperative, or social organizations for appropriate use.



The assumption of ownership of property by the state if no other owner can be found.
References in periodicals archive ?
Roger Virgoe has noted that appointment to the offices of sheriff, escheator, and the commission of the peace in particular indicate that 'there was some demand from below to sit on the commission and pressure from magnates to nominate their clients to it'.
37) Alington first appeared on royal commissions in 1457, and was appointed with his father to act as jp for the town and county of Cambridge a total of eleven times from 1457 to 1460, as well as escheator for Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire on 7 November 1458.
Central government was aided by a host of clerks and facilitated by royal officials in the shires -- sheriffs, escheators, and, from the early fourteenth century, justices of the peace.
59)Brief biographies of northern men who combined careers in the royal service as sheriffs, coroners, escheators and jps with membership in the Commons in the parliament of 1422 are to be found in J.
Its continued dominance over local society was secured by creating a web of clientage among the middling and lesser landowners, which eventually embraced not only the crown's growing number of local officials, such as sheriffs and escheators, but the local courts and justices.