Chicago Man Who Died In 2016 Left Behind $11 Million in Unclaimed Estate

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An unclaimed estate of $11 million was given to a Chicago man's 119 relatives.

A Chicago man who died in 2016 secretly left behind $11 million, according to reports.

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 is serving as the administrator of Stancak's estate and got the attention of the treasurer's office after he filed a claim. This led to the agency noticing the high amount, according to the release.

Piercy told Block Club Chicago that the records go back "five generations deep" and 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 told Block Club Chicago. "I've never seen a case this complicated before."

According to CBS News, Stancak's neighbors said that he was a quiet man who did not spend a ton of money and repaired his home on his own.

"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 a life-changing amount of money. 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.

"It is a great privilege to be able to assist the heirs in collecting their rightful inheritance," Piercey said in the statement. 

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