- 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.
- the right to take property subject to escheat.
- to revert by escheat, as to the crown or the state.
- to make an escheat of; confiscate.
Origin of escheat
Examples from the Web for escheat
Chamberlain wrote on January 10, 1608, to Escheat of Sherborne.Sir Walter Ralegh
“You dare not escheat his estates yet,” replied the prior stubbornly.Hero-Myths & Legends of the British Race
Maud Isabel Ebbutt
And the estates of the rebels, they escheat to the temples of the insulted gods?Valeria
William Henry Withrow
And we will hold the escheat in the same manner in which the baron held it.Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed.
S. A. Reilly
It will be remembered, also, that the animals which the Scotch law forfeited were escheat to the king.The Common Law
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
- (in England before 1926) the reversion of property to the Crown in the absence of legal heirs
- (in feudal times) the reversion of property to the feudal lord in the absence of legal heirs or upon outlawry of the tenant
- the property so reverting
- to take (land) by escheat or (of land) to revert by escheat
Word Origin and History for escheat
the reverting of land to a king or lord in certain cases, early 14c., from Anglo-French eschete (late 13c.), from Old French eschete "succession, inheritance," originally fem. past participle of escheoir, from Late Latin *excadere "to fall out," from Latin ex- "out, away" (see ex-) + cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). As a verb, from late 14c. Related: Escheated; escheating.