Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon.
Joseph F. Cunningham, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE WELCH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This action commenced when Eugene Arnold's will was filed for probate in the circuit court of St. Clair County on June 20, 1983, by respondent Ruth Arnold. Carole Jean Gillespie, petitioner, is the daughter of Eugene Arnold from a previous marriage. After a hearing on petitioner's motion to construe, the trial court found that petitioner did not have a present interest in the estate but ordered Ruth Arnold to file an inventory or to present herself for examination under oath as to the assets of the estate. Petitioner appeals. Respondent cross-appeals.
Eugene Arnold and Ruth Arnold, husband and wife, executed a will on April 23, 1981. Ruth had two children from a previous marriage, and Eugene had one child from a previous marriage.
The pertinent provisions of the will are as follows:
"WE, RUTH ARNOLD AND EUGENE ARNOLD, husband and wife, of Belleville, Illinois, both being of lawful age and of sound mind and memory, do make, publish and declare this to be jointly as well as severally, our Last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills by us made.
SECOND: We thereafter desire and direct that all property, both real and personal, of which we are possessed at the time of the decease of either of us, and of whatsoever it may consist and wheresoever it may be found, shall become the sole and exclusive property of the survivor; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that upon the decease of the said survivor, it is our will that any real or personal property so remaining shall be divided in the following manner:
A one-half (1/2) part thereof to Carole Jean Gillespie, daughter of Eugene Arnold;
A one-fourth (1/4th) part thereof to Robert Lesher, son of Ruth Arnold, and
A one-fourth (1/4th) part thereof to Joan Lee Cresson, daughter of Ruth Arnold,
THIRD: Upon the decease of one of us we agree upon the survivor as Executor to serve without bond; upon the decease of the survivor, we agree herein that Carole Jean Gillespie and Robert H. Lesher, be appointed Co-Executors of this our Last Will and Testament, without bond."
Eugene Arnold died on April 10, 1983, and the will was admitted to probate.
An original inventory was filed June 21, 1983. The original inventory lists two bond for deed contracts and two lots of real estate as being decedent's only property subject to probate. Notice to heirs and legatees was filed on June 30, 1983.
Petitioner, Carole Jean Gillespie, filed a citation petition for discovery on December 16, 1983, praying that the respondent, Ruth Arnold, in her capacity as executrix and in her individual capacity, be cited to appear before the court below and answer questions concerning her knowledge of decedent's property and to produce books and records relating thereto. The plaintiff alleged that Ruth Arnold had knowledge of many ...