Ugly Estate Battle in Chicago Elite’s Family

Ugly Estate Battle in Chicago Elite’s Family

Provided By: Alan G. Orlowsky

John Podmajersky Jr. is synonymous with the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. Starting in the 1950s, he began buying real estate in the area, and at 92 years old, Mr. Podmajersky is the largest landlord in the area with over one hundred properties. Unfortunately, his wife Annelies (Ann) passed away last September and his children, John III and Lisa, have been battling over their inheritance from her estate ever since.

The Podmajersky Children

On one side of the battle is John Podmajersky III, 53, who has lived in Chicago for his entire life and began working in the family real estate business at age nine. He took over management of the business in 2003. The other sibling currently battling over the estate is Lisa Podmajersky, 51, who has spent most of her adult life in Boulder, Colorado. She returned to Chicago in 2011 when their mother’s health started to fail.

Arguments in the Lawsuit

John III has accused his sister of returning home for the sole purpose of getting more of an inheritance from their mother and systematically turning both of their parents against him. He claimed that his sister has never been gainfully employed and always relied on their parents for money. She repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction at the perception that the rest of the family was doing better financially, and Lisa only returned to Chicago in 2011 when her mother’s kidney cancer worsened.

In addition, John III claims that “Lisa took steps to insinuate herself into Ann’s life and to cause Ann to distrust and turn away from John III” and his wife.” Lisa brought in new attorneys to look at the estate planning issues, took over the management of her parents’ personal affairs, and poisoned John III’s relationship with his parents. Lisa changed the locks on her parents’ apartment, concealed family gatherings and birthday parties, and eventually convinced her mother to revise her will that gave a 75/25 split of the inheritance to Lisa.

Even after Annelies’ death, issues arose between the siblings regarding their mother. John III claimed that his sister barred him from attending the memorial service after her passing. Furthermore, he claims that to this day Lisa has not told him where his mother’s remains were buried.

On the other hand, Lisa claims that John III mishandled the family business and took far more in salary than his parents realized. At Lisa’s suggestion, the Podmajerskys sued John III in 2012 to remove him as the manager of their real estate holdings and for a breach of fiduciary duty. This case has yet to reach a conclusion in the court and continues to be fought to this day.

Contact an Illinois Attorney Today

If you or someone that you know wishes to contest an estate or has other issues regarding wills and trusts in Northbrook, Skokie, Evanston, Glenview, Glencoe, or Highland Park, let the experienced attorneys at Orlowsky & Wilson, Ltd. help. Call the office or contact us today for a free and confidential consultation of your claims.


Updated as of July 2019
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