Meaning of escheat

es•cheat

Pronunciation: (es-chēt'), [key]
— Law. 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.
  1. to revert by escheat, as to the crown or the state.
—v.t.
  1. to make an escheat of; confiscate.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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