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Chicago man secretly leaves behind 'life-changing' $11M estate for 119 relatives
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An 87-year-old Chicago man who died just before Christmas in 2016 has left behind $11 million in his estate for his family in what Illinois officials are describing as the "largest returned unclaimed property dollar amount in the nation’s history."
Most of Joseph Stancak's 119 heirs live in Poland – where his parents were born – and Slovakia, according to the Office of the Illinois State Treasurer. It’s unclear how the Chicagoan accumulated so much wealth so quietly, they added.
"This is a life-changing amount of money," Treasurer Michael Frerichs said in a statement. "I only wish we knew more about Mr. Stancak."
Officials say Stancak, who was born in Chicago in August 1929, owned a boat named "Easy" and last lived on a house in South Troy Street, where he was found dead of natural causes on Dec. 23, 2016.