A retired school teacher in another state who is now deceased was married to a scientist (also now deceased) who pioneered studies of cloning. Following her husband’s successful and prestigious scientific career, the former teacher’s estate was worth more than $5 million when she died. The woman’s heirs and beneficiaries are now battling, not only over her estate but also over her actual death.
The woman reportedly had named one of her sons as executor of her estate. His brother, however, was apparently not happy about that. There are also reports stating that the unhappy brother had been written out of his mother’s will back in 2007, without his knowledge.
The woman drowned in her own hot tub while her executor son and his wife were visiting. Her other son has accused his brother of murdering their mother. He claims that his brother was aware that his mother was about to make a scheduled phone call to her estate attorney to make changes to her estate plan, ones that would not favor the visiting son.
A judge recently ruled that the son has failed to provide any valid evidence that his mother was murdered. The dispute between these heirs and beneficiaries extends to a separate wrongful death lawsuit, filed against the son (and his wife) who were present at the time of the woman’s death by the son who was not there when the drowning occurred. It will take some time to resolve this complex situation; anyone in Illinois facing similar probate disputes may reach out for legal support at any time.