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Estate of Ellis

Supreme Court of Illinois
923 N.E.2d 237 (2009)


Facts

The decedent, Grace Ellis (Ellis) executed a will in 1964, naming Shriners Hospitals for Children (Shriners) as beneficiary if Ellis did not have any descendants at the time of her death. Ellis executed another will in 1999, giving her entire estate to James Bauman (Bauman), Ellis’s pastor. During her lifetime, Ellis retitled a substantial amount of assets in Bauman’s name, and purchased gifts for him. Ellis died, leaving no descendants. Bauman, as personal representative of Ellis’s estate, submitted her will to probate. Shriners did not learn of the 1964 will until several years later. Shriners (plaintiff) filed a petition alleging a tort action against Bauman (defendant) for intentional interference with an expectancy of inheritance. The circuit court dismissed Shriners’ petition as being untimely filed, and the court of appeals affirmed. Shriners appealed, arguing that the six-month filing requirement should not apply to its tort claim.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Burke, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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