Eckland v. Jankowski
Illinois Supreme Court
407 Ill. 263, 95 N.E.2d 342 (1950)
Thorwald Hegstad had a will when he died in 1945, but nobody found it until two and half years later. Meanwhile, Thorwalds’s estate was administered as if he died intestate, and his heirs at law acquired title to his real property. The heirs at law sold the property to a couple for $12,000, who sold it again for $13,000 to Theodore Jankowski and others (defendants). Six months later, Charles Eckland (plaintiff) found the will, which devised him a one-half interest in the property, with the other half to Garman Hegstad, one of the heirs who sold the property to the couple. The will was duly admitted to probate, and Eckland sued to partition the property, asserting he owned half. The buyers had occupied the property and countered that probating the will could not divest innocent purchasers for value of title acquired over a year beforehand. After a hearing, the trial court dismissed Eckland’s petition for lack of equity in the property. Eckland appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Simpson, C.J.)
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