Late Chicago Multi-Millionaire’s Inheritance Fight Takes Surprising Twist

Relatives of the late reclusive Chicago millionaire Joseph Stancak in late June failed to shoot down a recently discovered will leaving Stancak’s $11 million estate to a now-inactive New York daycare company.

In a June 27 hearing, Cook County Judge Daniel Tiernan heard testimony from Asad Mahmood and Mansoor Afzal who both said they were witnesses when Stancak signed the will in 2015 in a New York real estate office.

While their testimony differed slightly on the details, the judge approved the will, explaining that bu law he was required to approve it if witnesses could attest that Stancak was of sound mind and present.

At the same time, the judge said the hearing was limited and did not mean that the will could not be formally contested later on.

The ongoing fight over Stancak’s $11 million fortune began after he died at the age of 87 in December 2016 with no known will and no immediate family, making Stancak’s fortune the largest unclaimed estate in US history.

A search turned up roughly 119 distant relations throughout the world.

Just as inheritance checks were about to be prepared for the relatives, a petition was filed in June of last year asking Judge Teirnan to accept the newly uncovered will.

In the will, dated August 19, 2015, Stancak purportedly left his estate to Smart Kids Child Care, Inc. and its president Asad Mahmood.

In his June 27 testimony, Mahmood told the court that he witnessed the signing of the will but only recently came across it while cleaning his home in anticipation of a move.

Mahmood admitted that Smart Kids Child Care, which was founded by Mansoor Afzal’s father, was inactive and never had a physical location. He also insisted that he did not stand to benefit from the estate, despite being president of the company.