Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fedlkamp probate drags on

The probate of the estates of the late Jack and Audrey Feldkamp took up some of Judge Chmiel's time today. I thank the Executor, Attorney Carl Gilmore of Woodstock, for speaking up in court.

It was harder to hear Judge Chmiel, who speaks softly, and even harder to hear Attorney R. Duane Slayton, of Hampshire and appearing on behalf of his client, Scott Feldkamp, son of the late Feldkamps and the former (first) executor of both estates.

Today was a status hearing on the estates and also a hearing on Motions filed by Gilmore for a court order to sell personal property of the estates. Gilmore, as executor, asked the Court for permission to use Caring Transitions to value and sell remaining personal property.

Gilmore wrote in his Motion to Sell that he cannot identify any funds with which to pay claims. What happened to all the cash from June 2011?

I'm not sure where Gilmore thinks any property is. In the family residence near Marengo, by any chance? I don't think so. The inventory from June 2011 is quite detailed, and I think it's all gone.

Without going into detail in court today, Slayton mentioned a prior sale of personal property. He was likely referring to a garage sale. Where are the proceeds from that? How much was realized when Scott Feldkamp, acting as the original executor, sold off personal property of his late parents? Slayton told Judge Chmiel that Scott Feldkamp had the details of the (garage) sale.

Well, that report will be interesting. And probably very short. Where's the money?

Personal property was first inventoried on June 16, 2011. That was only seven working days after the deaths of his parents. They died on the evening of June 7, 2011, and Scott was hospitalized for a few days. The estate valuator was in the family home on the same day as Audrey Feldkamp's probate was opened in McHenry County. The same day. What was the rush?

And even by the date of the valuation, Audrey 2004 Saturn Vue was already gone. The appraiser noted the vehicle and approximate mileage and value, but he noted that the car was not in the garage at the time of his inventory. Where was it?

Also gone by June 16, 2011, was "George & Martha Washington sterling (12)", with an estimated value of $1,200. Did the "(12)" mean 12 pieces? Maybe 12 place settings? It was on the inventory but listed as "not present for appraisal".

An antique Brunswick billiards table ($1,200) was listed on the inventory, but this table was not part of the estates. My understanding is that table belonged to Jackie and was only being stored in the game room of the Feldkamp family home. I've been told that the table was transferred to Brunswick by Scott. Was it sold or donated? If sold, where's the money? If donated, why, when there are creditors of the estate? And why, if it didn't belong to Mr. or Mrs. Feldkamp, was it on the inventory in the first place?

The original law firm on the estate was Filler & Schmitt, of Marengo. Their name no longer appears in the court records for 11PR000175 or 11PR000216.

Attorney Slayton told Judge Chmiel again today that Scott Feldkamp was in Florida in May of this year for "medical" reasons. If he is going to keep saying that, perhaps he should order medical records for Scott's treatment in Illinois in 2011 and then from Florida for May 2012. I'd like to suggest that Judge Chmiel say, "Prove it."

Slayton also referred to a burglary at the family home this year as a reason for the absence of remaining personal property. Judge Chmiel told Gilmore to get "police" reports, which will have to come from the McHenry County Sheriff's Dept., since that was the agency called to the residence.

Is the squatter still living in the Feldkamp family home? No mention was made in court today as to whether that person, who was allowed to move in last summer by Scott or Slayton, is still there.

Slayton wanted to get off the record and asked Judge Chmiel for a conference "in chambers" with Gilmore. Judge Chmiel wisely declined that attempt to hide information from the public. I wonder what he wanted to say.

Slayton also referred to the taking of personal property by the Feldkamp's daughter, Jackie, during the brief time she was executor of the estates this year. He said he would get a list from her. Wait a minute! It's not Slayton's job to get any list from Jackie. He is not the executor. Slayton is Scott's attorney.

Slayton further tried to make a big deal out of "personal property" located at Harmony Real Estate, which property still remains in the building on U.S. 20 at Harmony Road. Neither Gilmore nor Judge Chmiel challenged that description of property or office equipment in the office building. That is not "personal property"; it is business property. It is not part of the "personal property" that is supposed to be divided equally, if ever distributed to the heirs (Scott and Jackie Feldkamp). All that's there is a bunch of old office furniture.

Next date? Some Thursday in February. I couldn't hear the date agreed to in court. If you are interested, check the public calendar in Court records.

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