What is the name of your state? Illinois. My wife is adopted(age 53). We live in Illinois. She found her birth mother over 20 years ago. They established a long distant good relationship, visiting occasionally, exchanging gifts and phonecalls at the holidays and birthdays and her knowing our children and grandchildren as well. Her birth mother kept the birth a secret from her brother, sister-in-law and 4 nephews(the only living relatives, except for my wife). Her birth mother passed away april 8th, 2006 ( age 77) in the state of Kansas. Over the years it was implied that my wife would have some inheritance from her birth mother and would recieve a letter from her through her attorney and notification of her death. Didn't happen!! We tried to call her and the phone was disconnected. We put 2 and 2 together and checked the obituaries. We searched and found the lawyer handling her estate and quizzed him about the letter in question, still keeping the adoption and birth confidential from him and the family. He stated that there was no letter for someone using my wifes' name, but another letter was sent to a third party. Could this third party be handling a letter to be sent to my wife concerning the birth mothers' intentions, still allowing the secret to be kept from lawyer and relatives? Is there a time limit before such a letter would be sent to my wife and what legal entilements are there for my wife concernng her estate if no letter exists? Can you give us some advice?