Chicago Man Leaves $11 million in Unclaimed Estate


According to reports, a Chicago man who died in 2016 left behind $11,000,000

Joseph Stancak’s unclaimed estate — defined by the Office of Illinois State Treasurer as unclaimed property or money left sitting in a bank account for years, life insurance benefits that haven’t been paid out, or items left in a safe deposit box — was the largest in the country, according to reports.

Stancak was found dead in his home on Dec. 23, 2016, at 87 years old, according to a press release from Michael Frerichs in the Office of Illinois State Treasurer.

Attorney Kenneth Piercy acts as Stancak’s administrator. He was alerted by the treasurer’s staff after he filed an insurance claim. The release states that the agency was alerted to the amount.

Block Club Chicago was informed by Piercy that the records date back “five generations deep”Include “living cousins once or twice removed in many countries.”

According to Frerichs, Stancak’s parents were born in Poland and the majority of his family members live in Poland and Slovakia.

Seven of Stancak’s relatives were located in the U.S., including in Chicago, New Jersey, New York, and Minnesota, per the release.

“In my office I have a scroll 15 feet long that can go across the entire room,”Piercey shared his experience with Block Club Chicago. “I’ve never seen a case this complicated before.”

CBS News reported that Stancak was quiet, didn’t spend a lot of money, and took care to fix his house.

“Little is known about how Mr. Stancak accumulated such wealth so quietly…” the press release read.

According to the release, Stancak never had any children, and seven siblings all died before him, and they also did not have children.

“Because Mr. Stancak and his siblings never had children, the Stancak estate had to identify the family through his parents — essentially going up the family tree before going back down,” the release said.

“This is an incredible amount of money that can change your life. I only wish we knew more about Mr. Stancak…It is unclear how Mr. Stancak accumulated such wealth,” per the statement.

According to the statement, Stancak’s 119 relatives have received the millions.

“Piercey stated in the statement that it was a great honor to help the heirs collect their rightful inheritance. 


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