The 1859 will of a relative in Illinois gives the entire estate of the testator to her brother. They have the same last name which suggests she never married.

The will says in part that what she is giving to her brother is “all my right title and interest in all my real and personal estate…”

Does this necessarily mean that she owned real estate at the time the will was written? Should I expect to find her in the local land records purchasing real estate? The answer to that is “maybe.” This will, like most wills of this type, made the bequest to the brother broad so that nothing could later be claimed to have been left out. The likely intent here was that boilerplate text was used to make certain there were no omissions.

I will still look for the testator in land records since that’s always good to do (it’s also possible she inherited land in which case there may be no deed of acquisition for her). But I’ll keep in mind that the text is likely nothing more than the standard “let’s not overlook anything” variety.



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