Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
Hi! My name is Richard & I will be helping you today! It will take me a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!
Yes, you have have recourse. The key is whether or not your father had a will. If he did, which seems to be the case...only the signed will has any legal validity, then the terms of the will control his probate estate. If he did not, then he will be deemed to have died intestate and the Illinois intestate succession laws will apply. If his wife's granddaughter is in possession of the will, she needs to file the will with the probate court in the county in which he resided at his death, usually within 30 days of the date of death. Once it is filed with the court, it becomes public record and you can obtain a copy from the probate records. The will should name an executor who will then need to be officially appointed by the probate court as executor which will then give that person official authorization to administer the estate. Until that time, no one has any authority to do anything with your his probate assets. Your father's estate and his assets are not your dad's wife's granddaughter's personal piggy bank. If she doesn't produce the will and cause it to be filed within 30 days of the date of your father's death, you can file your own petition with the court asking the court that he be deemed to have died intestate and that the state's intestate succession rules govern his probate estate. That will force her hand...to either produce a will or live with the Illinois intestate succession laws. Under the Illinois intestate succession laws, when there is no surviving spouse and you are the only child, you would be entitled to his entire probate estate.
Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your question. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as Good or Excellent (i.e., 4 or 5 stars)(hopefully Excellent/5 stars!). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Thanks for following up. Yes, I would first give her written notice of the information I provided. I apologize I mixed up the two states....Missouri law would apply, but it's the same as Illinois law on this issue. :)
Yes...a text would be fine. Just save it so you have proof you sent it. :)
This is absolutely false. The will controls and if there is no will, the intestate succession laws apply. Because she has no blood relation to your father, she has no legal right to inherit anything under the intestate succession laws or to be an executor if there is no will.
Good morning. The signed will is going to be the only will that is valid; an unsigned will is not valid. I'll be happy to review the signed will. I can do that for you through the Premium Services option offered by JustAnswer. If that would be helpful, let me know and I'll extend that offer and you can then decide whether or not to accept. Fair enough?