Blum, a Holocaust survivor with no living family members, passed away with an estate worth nearly $40 million. It is the largest unclaimed estate in the history of the state of New York, and unless the court-overseen administrator of his assets finds relatives through a genealogist search, every penny could end up going to the state government.
Legacies Left in Limbo
Millions of people don't have wills, never considering the consequences of their actions on the family members and friends who survive them.
Fortunately, getting a will in place doesn't have to be complicated; even a simple will is enough to express your intent for who should receive your assets after your death. Moreover, if you have minor children, wills allow you to name a guardian for them that will avoid any uncertainty about who you want to care for them if something happens to you.
You may not be as rich or famous as the celebrities below, but their lives -- and deaths -- offer a cautionary tale for what can happen when you die intestate. Making a will might seem like a chore, but getting it done will go a long way toward avoiding family feuds after your death and having your memory overshadowed by discord among your loved ones.