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12/01/88 In Re Estate of John P. Tobin (Helen D. Willard

December 1, 1988

IN RE ESTATE OF JOHN P. TOBIN (HELEN D. WILLARD,


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

Petitioner-Appellant, v.

Town and Country Bank of Springfield, as Adm'r, et al.,

Respondents-Appellees (Sang Chris Oil Company,

Intervenor-Appellee; Town and Country Bank, as

Successor Ex'r of the Estate of John P.

Tobin, et al., Defendants))

531 N.E.2d 440, 176 Ill. App. 3d 580, 126 Ill. Dec. 145 1988.IL.1739

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. Simon L. Friedman, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SPITZ delivered the opinion of the court. McCULLOUGH, P.J., and GREEN, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SPITZ

This is an appeal by petitioner Helen Willard from a summary judgment entered in the circuit court of Champaign County. Petitioner is a niece and heir of John Tobin, who died on August 10, 1967. In addition to petitioner, the heirs included Tobin's 14 other nieces and nephews. However, Tobin's handwritten will, dated July 29, 1967, left the entire estate to one of the nephews, Robert Denny, petitioner's brother.

On September 1, 1967, a petition for probate of will and for letters of administration with will annexed was filed by Denny seeking admission of the will to probate and issuance of letters of administration. Neither the petition for probate of will nor any other documents submitted to the court revealed petitioner as an heir at law of the decedent, although the remaining 14 nieces and nephews were disclosed. Denny testified as to the heirship of the decedent, omitting any mention of petitioner.

After the will was proved up, it was admitted to probate on September 28, 1967, and Denny was appointed as administrator. Petitioner, who was residing in Heidelburg, Germany, did not receive any notice of the probate proceedings. Petitioner continued to reside in Germany until 1972, when she returned to the United States.

Subsequent to probate proceedings being initiated, Denny died as a result of an accident on November 6, 1969. Acting on behalf of Denny, his surviving spouse, Patricia, filed final accounts in the estate of Tobin. The estate was ultimately settled and the administrator discharged on January 20, 1970.

The sole asset of the Tobin estate consisted of a tract of real estate located in Sangamon County, Illinois, comprised of 3.61 acres. This land has now appreciated to approximately $198,000 per acre from an original ...


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