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Man dies without legal heir; his assets are auctioned off

A California man reportedly passed away without a legal heir or legally signed estate documents, resulting in many of his assets being auctioned off to the highest bidder. Reports indicate that the man did have at least one will, but the original document could not be found. Instead, a copy of the will was found in the trunk of a car, and that copy was not considered to be legitimate by the court.

The man left behind an estate worth millions of dollars. Among the property of the estate are six properties in the state, 69 motor vehicles and numerous other assets. Because the court could not find a legal heir for the man's estate and there were no estate documents filed, the Public Administrator's Office has been tasked with sorting the man's affairs.

That office is turning to auction as a way to deal with some of the properties in question. The 69 motor vehicles will be auctioned off and are expected to raise as much as $150,000. The inventory of vehicles includes a Ford Model A Roadster from 1930, a Volkswagen van from 1965 and a number of other Chevy and Ford models. Reports indicate the inventory even includes an aircraft of some kind.

Not everyone has an obvious heir, such as children or a spouse, But that doesn't mean updated estate documents aren't important, If you have anything of value -- even if it doesn't equate to millions of dollars -- you might have wishes for how those assets are handled. Estate planning lets you leave assets to family, friends, businesses or charities. Without such planning, your assets might be at the mercy of the court.

Source: KTVN, "Deceased man with no clear heirs leaves behind 69 cars," Dec. 10, 2015

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