By Danya Hooker
A Will County judge will hear the first arguments on a petition to re-open Kathleen Savio’s estate during a hearing next month.
Five of Savio’s relatives filed a joint petition Monday to re-open the estate in preparation for a wrongful death lawsuit against her ex-husband Drew Peterson, according to Lawrence Varsek, an attorney for two of Savio’s siblings.
“They (the family) have a lot of questions,” Varsek said. “They’re not satisfied with the previous answers and we need the authority of this court to find the answers.”
Peterson attorney Joel Brodsky, in turn, filed a seven-page response to the petition, asking that it be thrown out because the two-year statute of limitations on filing a wrongful death lawsuit has passed.
But John Q. Kelly, a high-profile New York-based attorney for Savio’s siblings Anna Marie Doman and Henry M. Savio, said the statute of limitations can be extended under certain circumstances.
A Will County judge accepted both filings and scheduled a hearing for April 17.
Varsek filed the first petition Jan. 31 on behalf of Doman and Henry Savio. It asked the court to re-open the estate and to name the siblings co-executors in place of the current executor James B. Carroll, Drew Peterson’s uncle.
The motion argues that Carroll, as a relative of Peterson’s, did not have Savio’s interests in mind when carrying out her estate.
The petition also specifically requested that the court not give power to Savio’s other relatives, specifically to her father Henry J. Savio.
Two weeks later, Martin Glink, an attorney for Savio’s father and sister Susan Doman, filed a petition seeking to re-open the estate and have them be named its executors.
The petition filed Monday is a joint request on behalf of all four of the relatives and Savio’s half-brother Nicholas Savio.
“We each knew of each other and we decided it would be more effective to work together,” Glink said.
All proceeds from the estate, if there are any, will go to benefit Savio and Peterson’s two teenage sons.
Brodsky said the sons are already the beneficiaries of Savio’s estate and that the petition is baseless.
Brodsky’s response also asks the court to order the petitioners to pay the legal fees if the case is thrown out.