Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hi; My goal is to provide you with great service - if you have any questions during our chat, please ask! I'll do my best to ensure your satisfaction! First off, I'm sorry for your husband and your loss. That is difficult, especially under these circumstances.
Since your father in law died without a will, his estate will pass via the laws of intestate succession. I am linking you to the relevant statute. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=3700000&SeqEnd=5000000 As you will see, per the law as stated in 5/2-1, the estate is to be distributed 1/2 to the surviving spouse, and 1/2 to be divided among the children. This would include children from a prior relationship. Perhaps she is unaware of this provision in the law, but a well worded letter advising her of this and including the statute should prove helpful.
Thank you! If she still refuses, is there another avenue we should take? It's not really about the money, it's more about getting the acknowledgement.
Yes, then you would have to sue in court - a horrible experience when you are trying to deal with the emotional issues - but sometimes a necessary evil. If she does not respond, I would suggest hiring an attorney to deal with it to spare you the hassle of learning the law from step 1. You may want to suggest mediation - that tends to work well, and preserve family relations, to the extent possible. Keep in mind though that she would need to consent to that (mediation) - but it would be a gesture of good will to propose it in the letter.
Most lawyers will expect a retainer up front. Even if we can sue her for our legal fees, we would still need to come up with the money up front. :(
You can do it on contingency -but they would take a % and probably more than what their hourly fee would be. However, if you write a letter and she consults with an attorney, it is quite possible she will be made to see reason.
Did you need a link to the state bar? I'm hoping that step won't be necessary when you show her the statute.
Sure that would be great!
http://www.illinoislawyerfinder.com/find-a-lawyer Make sure you understand the fees before signing anything. And you can go to www.avvo.com to check out peer reviews and customer reviews to help make sure you are getting an honest lawyer -and no, that's not a contradiction in terms! :)
Did you have any other questions on the above?
It looks like you've stepped out of the chat. If you have any follow up questions please post them here and I'll reply as soon as I see it. Thanks!
Ok thanks- sorry I got a phone call. Thanks for the help.