According to a sensational report, the widow of a Chicago lottery winner who was poisoned with cyanide fought with the man’s siblings over control of his estate. The battle included a fight over his nearly half a million-dollar prize money. The lottery winner, Urooj Khan, owned several dry cleaning operations and some real estate when he died suddenly over the summer, only days before he was due to collect his winnings from the Illinois Lottery.
Initial Impressions Were False
There were initially no signs of trauma, which led authorities to declare he had died of natural cases. However, a relative later came forward with suspicions that prompted a more complete investigation. A thorough examination revealed that the man had been intentionally poisoned.
Still No Killer
Police still haven't identified a killer or possible motives. They have also not said if the lottery winnings might have played a role in the poisoning. The man’s widow, Shabana Ansari, claims she had nothing to do with his death and, so far, there’s no indication police are treating her as a suspect.
Death Without a Will Caused Problems
The fact that the lottery winner died without a will created the perfect opportunity for a legal battle royal between his surviving family members. The siblings and the widow locked horns over the man’s more than $1.2 million estate, which includes his winnings, business holdings, cars and several bank accounts. As part of the battle, Khan's brother and sister filed documents in the probate court to protect Khan’s daughter’s stake in his estate. A judge decided to freeze the lottery check when those family members alleged that Khan’s widow was moving to liquidate his assets.
Intestacy Law Kicks In
Under Illinois intestacy rules, Khan’s estate would normally be split between his wife and his daughter from a prior marriage (under California’s intestacy law Khan’s wife and his daughter would each be entiteld to half of the estate). The recent probate settlement gives ? of lottery winnings to the widow, and ? to the daughter. Additionally the wife keeps the commercial properties, the business, their primary home, and all the vehicles.
Get a Will Or Face Similar Trouble - Even Without the Poison
The incident, though especially tragic, should serve as a cautionary tale of what can go wrong without proper estate planning. If Khan had had a trust in place there would have been no need for a nasty fight between his surviving family members - possibly even for his death. If he had established an estate plan that contained his last wishes, all of his assets (including his lottery winnings) would simply have been distributed as he saw fit.
Source: “Widow of poisoned Chicago lottery winner Urooj Khan fighting with family over his estate,” by The Associated Press, published at. NYDailyNews.com.