Escheat is distinguishable from FORFEITURE even though both terms refer to a relinquishment of property. Forfeiture can be applied to any type of property interest, including possession, the right to inherit, or the right of reversion. In addition, forfeiture often is used as a penalty against an individual who has an interest in property, for an illegal act. An escheat takes place due to the lack of any person with a valid interest in the property, and is not usually linked to any illegality or wrongdoing.
Succession is the passing of a decedent's property to his or her heirs. Escheat is not treated in law like succession; the two concepts are completely separate.