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In re Estate of Jolliff

199 Ill. 2d 510, 771 N.E.2d 346 (2002)

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In re Estate of Jolliff

Illinois Supreme Court

199 Ill. 2d 510, 771 N.E.2d 346 (2002)

Facts

Edith Porter’s (plaintiff) brother, Willie Jolliff, became 100 percent physically and mentally disabled following an accident. After the accident, Porter lived with and cared for Willie for 12 years until his death. Porter was appointed as Willie’s conservator and was his sole caregiver. After Willie’s death, Willie’s adult daughter, Cheryl Jolliff (defendant), was appointed as the administrator of Willie’s estate. Porter filed a $200,000 claim against Willie’s estate under Illinois’s caregiver-compensation statute, which provided compensation to immediate family members who provided at least three years of live-in care to disabled relatives. During the 12 years Porter cared for Willie, Porter had received conservator’s fees but had never been compensated for her caregiving work. Cheryl moved to dismiss Porter’s claim, arguing that the Illinois caregiver-compensation statute violated due process and equal protection because it (1) only provided compensation to caregivers who were immediate family members; and (2) set minimum compensation amounts based on the level of the disability suffered by the disabled family member. For 100 percent disabled persons, like Willie, the minimum statutory compensation was $100,000. The trial court dismissed Porter’s claim, finding that the Illinois caregiver-compensation statute was unconstitutional. Porter appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fitzgerald, J.)

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