Staten Island real estate mogul left no will; millions in limbo - New York News

Staten Island real estate mogul left no will; millions in limbo

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

When Roman Blum died two years ago at 97, the Holocaust survivor left no will. His divorced wife had died before him, and Blum had no children or close relatives. But after decades of buying and building property in Staten Island, Blum did leave behind an estate worth $40 million.

Robert Fishler, Blum's real estate attorney for several decades, said Holocaust survivors often leave no will because they may be afraid to face death.

But one woman in Poland claims that in 1987 Blum sent a will to his former lover Helena Pietrucha, who, according to the claim, was pregnant and engaged to Blum in 1939 in Poland. But she was captured by the Russians, lost the baby, and was separated from Blum, who was captured by the Nazis. Helena died but her former caretaker, Teresa Musial, claims the money. She even provided an English translation of the alleged will. Blum allegedly writes "I give all my estate to my beloved Helena."

The Staten Island public administrator is in charge of Blum's $40 million estate. Gary Gotlin said a lot of people want Blum's millions. He said if all the claims are correct then Blum would have 62 sons and 25 daughters. He said two claims are in court and will have a hearing in August.

Fishler said he believes Blum would want his money to go to the state of Israel. But that is unlikely to happen because there is no proof, no will. So the money will most probably go to the state of New York.

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