If my father died and our stepmother told us that he didn't have a will, is there anyway we can find out if there was some type of will in place? 2 Answers as of July 17, 2017

My father was married to my mother for 30 years. He remarried and was with his new wife for 18 years up until his death 3 months ago. When my father remarried my sister and I were left in the dark about a lot of things concerning his personal business such as a will. After he passed away, our stepmother told us that he didn't have a will and that we didn't have anything coming. My Father also was a Pastor of a church and had other property at one time as well. She won't give my sister and I even so much as a bottle of his cologne.

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Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
If there was a will Illinois statute requires that it be filed with the clerk of the circuit court in the county of residence. If you know your father had an attorney you could ask the attorney if he knew whether your father had a will prepared. Property held in joint tenancy will transfer to the surviving joint tenant. Personal property would be in that category, except, possibly an automobile. You could check the public record to see how his residence or other real estate was owned. If you owned an asset in his own name, and there is no will, then the asset would be distributed by the statute on descent and distribution. In that event the asset would be distributed to the surviving spouse and divided amongst his children. You should see an attorney to discuss your options.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 7/17/2017
Law Office of T. Phillip Boggess | T. Phillip Boggess
Intestate is when one died without a will. In Illinois, the law divides the property he owned at his death with 50% to his spouse and 50% to his kids. But that is only property that did not pass another way. Jointly held property by joint tenancy goes to the joint owner. Beneficiary designations say where that property is going. So we would only be looking at property in his name alone.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 7/16/2017
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