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?

UPDATED: Mar 26, 2015

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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


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

Answered 7 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.

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