Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Feldkamp probates drag on

In many probate cases, clearing an estate is almost routine. A lawyer pushes some papers from one side of his desk to the other for a few months, adds up his fees for dragging things out and then settles the administration of the probate and gets paid.

How is it different in the probate estates of Jack and Audrey Feldkamp, who were killed in their home near Marengo on June 7, 2011?

It has been a three-ring circus. The estates are on their fourth executor. The first was Scott Feldkamp, son of the elder Feldkamps. He was removed by Judge Chmiel, and Feldkamps' daughter, Jackie, was appointed as successor executor. Then she was removed and Attorney Howard Rigsby was appointed. Then Judge Chmiel removed him, at Riggs' request, stuck Attorney Carl Gilmore with the job.

Gilmore probably wishes he had been on vacation or in the hospital when that phone call came. As I recall, he was appointed in about September 2012. Although it has only been two years (almost), Carl probably feels like it has been ten.

I've got to request the Orders of May 28 and June 11. Something happened on those dates. The probates are now set to close on August 28.

I wonder whether Attorney Gilmore was ever able to determine what happened to over $50,000 in liquid assets of the Feldkamps in June 2011. Did they really vanish? Err, get spent without being accounted for? And what happened to the household furnishings that were sold? Where's that money? Why was the family home occupied by a man referred to in court records as a "squatter"? Did he live rent-free for two years, thanks to the first executor and his attorney?

Is IDOT buying the land that was occupied by Harmony Real Estate for a roundabout? That deal was on; then off; then maybe back on. Where will that money go?

The answers really are available. Is Judge Chmiel demanding them?

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