Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Illinois

Hello, I was the product of an affair. My biological father died when I was 10, I am now 51. When he passed away he was single and never had any other children. my mother passed away 26 years ago. I'm not sure if his family knew about me. Short of exhumation to vetify paternity, would I have any estate rights, especially after this long? Thank you!

Asked on 9/08/13, 10:34 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Sue Roberts-Kurpis, Esq. Law Office of Sue Roberts-Kurpis

Its an interesting question and the answer is most likely No. Even if legally you have some rights, what would you expect to gain over 40 years later. Any estate which he might have left has long since be distributed to his surviving family members and would would most likely need their cooperation and testimony to help you win your case.

Also you should know that this has been an area of probate law that has been undergoing some change in recent years. Even if your case were timely, in all likelihood since your father apparently never publically acknowledged you to the extent that paternity was established and he represented to his family and friends that you were his child, you would have a very expensive lawsuit with no significant return even if you won.

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Answered on 9/08/13, 1:23 pm

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