- An obstruction of the course of descent by chance or accident. 27 Am J2d Esch § 1. The preferable right of the state to an estate left vacant because of the absence of persons legally entitled to make claim thereto. University of North Carolina v High Point, 203 NC 558, 166 SE 511. The reversion of property to the state when the title fails. Delaney v State, 42 ND 630, 174 NW 290. The state does not take as an heir; escheat is not succession. 27 Am J2d Esch § 1. A word deriving from the French or Norman French which, in its most comprehensive scope, means the reversion or forfeiture of property to the government upon the happening of some chance event or default. 27 Am J2d Esch § 1. In England, real estate escheats, but the Crown takes personal property, where there is no owner, that is bona vacantia. 27 Am J2d Esch § 1.
Ballentine's law dictionary. Anderson, W.S.. 1998.