Code of the District of Columbia

§ 19–701. Escheatment generally.

(a) Where there is no surviving spouse, surviving domestic partner, or relations of the intestate within the fifth degree, reckoned by counting down from the common ancestor to the more remote, the surplus of real and personal property escheats to the District of Columbia to be used by the Mayor of the District of Columbia for the benefit of the poor. All cash, including real or personal property reduced to cash, received or obtained by the District pursuant to this section shall be transferred at regular intervals to the Department of Human Services for uses consistent with the emergency assistance grants described in § 4-753.01(e).

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term “domestic partner” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 32-701(3).


(Sept. 14, 1965, 79 Stat. 701, Pub. L. 89-183, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 566; Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 148(1); Apr. 30, 1988, D.C. Law 7-104,§ 5(c), 35 DCR 147; Apr. 4, 2006, D.C. Law 16-79, § 5(t), 53 DCR 1035; Sept. 24, 2010, D.C. Law 18-223, § 5042, 57 DCR 6242.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 19-701.

1973 Ed., § 19-701.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 19-305.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-79 rewrote section which had read as follows: “Where there is no surviving spouse or relations of the intestate within the fifth degree, reckoned by counting down from the common ancestor to the more remote, the surplus of real and personal property escheats to the District of Columbia to be used by the Mayor of the District of Columbia for the benefit of the poor.”

D.C. Law 18-223, in subsec. (a), added the last sentence.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 5042 of Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-463, July 2, 2010, 57 DCR 6542).

Short Title

Short title: Section 5041 of D.C. Law 18-223 provided that subtitle E of title V of the act may be cited as the “Emergency Housing Assistance Act of 2010”.

Editor's Notes

Age of majority: Section 2 of the Act of July 22, 1976, D.C. Law 1-75, provided: “Notwithstanding any rule of common or other law to the contrary in effect on the effective date of this act, the age of majority in the District of Columbia shall be eighteen years of age, except that this act shall not affect any common law or statutory right to child support.”

Mayor's Orders

Escheated Estates Fund Application Screening Committee established: See Mayor’s Order 83-285, December 7, 1983.

Amendment of Mayor’s Order 81-39, Escheated Estates Fund: See Mayor’s Order 85-71, May 24, 1985, as amended by Mayor’s Order 87-188, August 6, 1987.

Amendment of establishment of Escheated Estates Fund Application Screening Committee: See Mayor’s Order 86-128, August 8, 1986.

Representation of District in probate and escheat cases: See Mayor’s Order 85-190, December 3, 1985.

Transfer of the Escheated Estates Fund, Delegation of Authority, and Rescission of Previous Mayor’s Orders, see Mayor’s Order 2007-238, November 2, 2007 ( 55 DCR 177).