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It is a well-settled principle that escheat is not favored by the law. Any doubt as to whether property is subject to escheat will be resolved against the state. The party claiming must prevail by the strength of his own title not by the weakness of that of his adversary.
Decedent had never married, left no children or testament, and had publicly declared that he had no relatives. The respective appellants were certain foreign relatives of decedent, some of who filed proceedings in New York for a determination of heirship. Pursuant to a New York court order, appellants contended that they were the rightful heirs of the decedent. The record of the New York proceedings was admitted into evidence in the administration of the estate in Florida. The Florida court found that Florida was the domicile of the decedent, and ordered the decedent’s property escheat to the state. Appellants challenged the decision, arguing that the New York court order was enforceable in Florida.
The court reversed the county judge's finding that decedent's property escheat to the state because it was unsupported by the record. It is a well-settled principle that escheat is not favored by the law. Any doubt as to whether property is subject to escheat will be resolved against the state. The court also held that Florida was the proper forum to determine heirship of personal property and the law of a sister state did not bind such determination.