Illinois Treasurer Returns Record Unclaimed $11 Million To Estate
This sounds like a Hollywood plot when you think about it. The old "relative that I didn't know about died and left behind millions of dollars" scenario is evidently alive and well here in the state of Illinois.
The Illinois State Treasurer's unclaimed property website has handed out some big money before, but nothing of this magnitude, and I'm betting that no one has been surprised more than the deceased man's far-flung family.
Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerich said it is the largest returned unclaimed property dollar amount in the history of the United States.
Millions Of Dollars Have Been Returned To The Family Of A Gage Park Man Who Died In 2016
If you're not familiar with Illinois' unclaimed property program, the State Treasurer's Office is holding more than 3.5 billion dollars in unclaimed funds for Illinoisans. They hold these lost funds until they are claimed by either the original owner or their heirs. The property is returned at no cost with the proper identification.
The site says that since 2015, over $1 billion in assets (cash, property) have been returned to Illinoisans or their rightful heirs.
Joseph Stancak Died Around Christmas Time Of 2016, And No One Had Any Idea That He Had Stashed $11 Million Dollars Away, Not Even His Family
Stancak didn't have any children, and neither did any of his six (now deceased) brothers and sisters. That left attorney Kenneth Piercey, who represents Stancak's estate, a big job to find the rightful heirs to the money
The majority live in Poland and nearby Slovakia. They also found a few in the United States, including New York, New Jersey, Minnesota and seven in the Chicago area.
"We had to find, basically, the baptismal records, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage records; everything that we could find," Piercey said. "The family had no idea and I think this will be life-changing for many of them."
The next piece of the puzzle to be found is exactly how Stancak made his fortune, because no one seems to have any idea. His neighbors say that he was quiet, did his own home repairs, and he lived (and died) alone.