According to Rule 91 Section 1 of the Rules of Court, when a person dies intestate, leaving no heir or person by law entitled to the same, the estate of the deceased will be declared escheated. Escheat is the power of the state to acquire property given the aforesaid requirements. The Solicitor General or his representative in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines may file a petition in the Court of First Instance of the province where the deceased last resided or in which he had estate, if he resided out of the Philippines, setting forth the facts, and praying that the estate of the deceased be declared escheated.
It should not be confused with forfeiture, though both entails relinquishment of rights over the property. In forfeiture, there is a pre-existing obligation ( e.g. satisfaction of a debt) and used only to satisfy the obligation. In Escheat, there is no debt or pre-existing obligation. It arises from the fact that there is no heir entitled to the property.
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