My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.
(755 ILCS 5/6-1) (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 6-1)
Sec. 6-1. Duty to file will - altering, destroying or secreting.)
(a) Immediately upon the death of the testator any person who has the testator's will in his possession shall file it with the clerk of the court of the proper county and upon failure or refusal to do so, the court on its motion or on the petition of any interested person may issue an attachment and compel the production of the will, subject to the provisions of Section 5.15 of the Secretary of State Act.
(b) If any person wilfully alters or destroys a will without the direction of the testator or wilfully secretes it for the period of 30 days after the death of the testator is known to him, the person so offending, on conviction thereof, shall be sentenced as in cases of theft of property classified as a Class 3 felony by the law in effect at the date of the offense. The 30-day period does not apply to the Secretary of State when acting pursuant to Section 5.15 of the Secretary of State Act.
The will should have been filed 60 days after his death but obviously it is now 34 years later. At this point you have no other choice then to probate the will. Without seeing the interests and language of the will it is difficult to ascertain how the interests would be distributed. This is a case where a local attorney needs to be retained. Most likely what will happen is the interests in your father's will will flow down. For example, if your father left a specific bequest to a child that died, the interest would flow to their children and so on.
After you get the will of your father probated, then you will then move on to your mother's will and probate her estate
after the assets have been distributed from your father's will. Like I said previously, because of the issues of this estate I would contact a local attorney to oversee this probate.
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