What can be done if my father died from cancer but did not leave a Will and his girlfriend took everything – house, car, all belongings and money?

She has sold the car and some of the belongings as well as throwing some of it away. My brother and I have tried contacting her to collect certain things he told us he wanted us to have but she has blocked contact with us. Is there anything we can do? The house was definitely in my dad’s name, but I do not know if she was co-signed or not. It has been nearly a year since he died.

Asked on March 26, 2015 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If your Father did not leave a Will then he is said to have died "intestate" and the intestacy statute in Illinois would apply.  If she was not his wife then she would not inherit under intestacy.  She could, however, take anything that was owned jointly with rights of survivorship when he passed.  Did she file any proceeding in Probate Court?  If she did and you did not get notice I would speak with a lawyer asap.  If she did not then I would file yourself and be appointed as Administrator and seek to get back the things that were his.  Please go and speak with some one asap.  Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.