Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Illinois

I own one condo unit, and it was on rent, my tenant commits suicide and He left a suicide note that all his stuff belongs to his x-girl friend. When he sign the lease documents He does not mentions his X name anywhere, He put his step father name as his contact, and his real mother is passed away and step father has second wife. He does not have any next to kin.


1. Does this suicide note count as his final will, if there is no will available.

2. To whom I give his personal belongings, His passport, DL, credit cards and all other stuff


Asked on 9/10/12, 9:55 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

David K. Staub Staub Anderson LLC

The suicide note does not constitute a will in Illinois. In Illinois, only a properly witnessed document can be considered a will. Some other states will consider handwritten (also called holographic) wills, but not Illinois.

When you say that he does not have any next of kin, he may not have living parents or any brothers and sisters but he likely has some more distant relatives, whether they may be aunts and uncles or fifth cousins twice removed. State law prescribes exactly how to distribute property of a person who dies intestate (that is, without a will).

As far as personal effects with no intrinsic value, I would offer them to his step-father or ask his step-father how they should be disposed of. Although his step-father has no legal relationship, he probably knows who, if anyone, would have any interest in the personal belongings.

Legally, it is not your job to find someone to take his belongings. Some cities such as Chicago, Evanston, Urbana and others have city ordinances that deal with the issue. For example, the Chicago Landlord-Tenant Ordinance provides with respsect to a tenant's property abandoned after the termination of a lease:

"the landlord shall leave the property in the dwelling unit or remove and store all abandoned property from the dwelling unit and may dispose of the property after seven days. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the landlord reasonably believes such abandoned property to be valueless or of such little value that the cost of storage would exceed the amount that would be realized from the sale, or if such property is subject to spoilage, the landlord may immediately dispose of such property."

Other than sentimental value, property like a passport, drivers license, credit cards, etc.. has no value and under those cities' ordinances can be disposed of immediately.

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Answered on 9/11/12, 8:40 pm

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