Does a Court of One State Have Jurisdiction to Freeze the Assets of An Estate Located In Another State ?

In Golden Rule Insurance Co. v. Widoff, 291 Ill. App. 3d 112, 115, 683 N.E.2d 541, 225 Ill. Dec. 373 (1997), this court affirmed an order of the circuit court dismissing for lack of jurisdiction a motion to freeze the assets of an estate established in Florida. The plaintiff argued that the circuit court had the authority to freeze the estate's assets because it could obtain in personam jurisdiction over the representative of the estate, an Illinois resident. The court disagreed. The Court found that because the plaintiff was not "seeking a 'personal' obligation" from the estate or its representative, but was seeking to control the distribution of the estate's assets, the proceeding was quasi in rem in nature and required that the assets be within Illinois. Golden Rule, 29 Ill. App. 3d at 116. Because the assets were located in Florida, an Illinois court could not exercise quasi in rem jurisdiction over them. Golden Rule, 291 Ill. App. 3d at 116.