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Escheat – Reversion of Property to the State

O.C.G.A. § 53-2-50
As used in this article, the term “escheat” is the reversion of property to the state upon a failure of heirs of a decedent to appear and make claim for or against property owned by the decedent at death for which no other disposition was provided either by will or otherwise.

O.C.G.A. § 53-2-51
(a) If no person has appeared and claimed to be an heir within four years from the date letters of any kind on an intestate decedent’s estate were granted, the personal representative shall petition the probate court of the county in which the letters were granted for determination that property has escheated to the state. Such a petition shall set forth the full name of the decedent, the date of death, the fact that no person has appeared and claimed to be an heir, and the property of the estate which may have escheated to the state.
(b) Upon filing of the petition, the probate court shall issue a citation as provided Chapter 11 of this title, requiring the heirs, if any, to file any objection to the petition by a date that is at least 60 days from the date of the citation, and shall order notice by publication to all heirs of the decedent as provided in Code Section 53-11-4.
(c) If no individual files objection as an heir who is entitled to the property on or before the date set in the citation, the court shall order the property to be paid over and distributed to the county board of education to become a part of the educational fund.
(d) If an individual files objection as an heir who is entitled to property, such claim shall be tried as other actions before the court. In such case, no property shall be paid over or distributed to the county board of education until the claim is determined in such manner as to establish that any individual making the claim is not entitled to the property.
(e) When property is paid over or distributed to a county board of education, the administration of the estate shall be terminated following a final return and the granting of a petition for discharge.
(f) The proceedings shall be conclusive upon and shall bind all the heirs of the estate.
(g) All expenses incurred in the administration of such proceedings shall be paid from the property or proceeds of the estate


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