Will of Chicago mother slain in Bali filed in court

Written By BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporter Posted: 08/25/2014, 10:18am

A will of a Chicago woman whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase two weeks ago on the resort island of Bali has surfaced in Cook County.

Sheila von Wiese-Mack’s will was filed late last week by Lance Taylor, an Oak Park attorney, more than a week after Indonesian authorities took von Wiese-Mack’s 18-year-old daughter and her boyfriend into custody in connection with the woman’s death.

Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer, 21, could be charged with premeditated murder and if convicted, face the death penalty.

But it’s still not clear from von Wiese-Mack’s will who stands to inherit her property. Taylor said only that he did estate planning in 2006 for von Wiese-Mack and her husband, the late James L. Mack.

“Having the will, I have an obligation to file it,” Taylor said.

Von Wiese-Mack signed her will Aug. 1, 2006 — the same day her husband signed his. She left her property to a trust but did not name its beneficiary. Neither did her husband in his will, signed five days before his death on Aug. 6, 2006. Taylor declined to discuss those details.

James Mack wrote in his will that the document was intended “only to provide for Heather Mack, my child and for no other children.” Heather Mack was 10 when he signed it, and her mother was named her guardian.

But other court records identified von Wiese-Mack as the “sole beneficiary” of James Mack’s trust after the couple in 2011 won a $1.5 million settlement from a cruise line. The lawsuit was filed before James Mack’s death but settled afterward. Initially, half the money went to his estate, but a judge authorized von Wiese-Mack, as its executor, to pay the money to herself.

Von Wiese-Mack named her brother, William Wiese, the executor of her estate. He did not immediately return messages for comment Monday.

Email: jseidel@suntimes.com

Twitter: @SeidelContent

Browse More 'Uncategorized'