I am inquiring for a friend. She has sound reason that she is listed an heir in an estate, but somehow is being excluded or that the executor is finding means to exclude her. My friend does not know the lawyer who is handling the will. What can she do or who would you recommend to help?
Call the county clerk see if probate filed. Check with other family members. She should get notice, unless her parents and grand parents are alive.
The answer above is correct. It is best to see if a Probate has been opened to know what steps have already been taken. In Illinois, heirs must receive notice if they are in the proper line of the chain of heir-ship. It is possible that her parents received notice if they are above her in the chain. If your friend knows that a lawyer is handling the estate, the search with the county will provide the name and address of that attorney. Finally, if you feel that your rights or inheritance are not being properly handled, you may want to find a local probate attorney to represent your interests. I would recommend finding out a little more information on your own first, to verify if a probate has even been opened yet.
The prior advice is excellent - call the Clerk's office first. If probate has been opened, then the will is a public document (recorded in the courthouse) and your friend can determine for certain if she is a beneficiary. If the will refers to a trust agreement, then you'll want to call the attorney responsible and discuss the matter with them, as trust agreements are private documents and are not recorded. If there is no will, your friend should look for a qualified estate/probate attorney that is local to her.
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