Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Illinois

Lawsuit settlement and wills

A settlement has been awarded in our family's favor. My mother died of mesothelioma, and a company has settled out of court. My parents will was drawn up in Illinois but they resided full time in Florida when they passed away. The probate attorney in Florida has told us that in the will it was said that all monies would be left in trust for me until the age of 25. My sister was to get all possessions, homes, property, etc. and my brother was not named in the will. He has not contested the will and the time allowance has run out. The attorney that is representing us is out of Texas and has told me that the settlement check is in the heir department at their law firm and the heir department is determining what amounts of the settlement go to what heirs. Does this override my parents' will? If it does, can that be contested and what can we expect to happen with future settlements?

Thank you for your time.

Asked on 12/12/05, 3:50 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Re: Lawsuit settlement and wills

I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

There are a number of issues here. First of all, because your mother was a resident of Florida at the time of her death, her estate would be probated according to Florida law, not Illinois, even though the will was executed in Illinois.

Have you spoken to the probate attorney about the settlement question that you pose? It seems to me that he/she would be the person to talk to about this since the probate attorney is familiar with the will and the family.

However, if you believe your interests are not the same as those of other family members, or you are not getting answers to your questions, you may want to consult a separate attorney to determine your own rights.

On the other hand, if you believe the probate attorney is protecting your interests, then you might want to get him/her to address these concerns with the Texas attorney.

Good luck to you.

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Answered on 12/12/05, 11:33 pm

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