In August 2005, Martin Stahling Sr. signed a statutory “short form” power of attorney for health care decisions under Section 4-10 of the Illinois Powers of Attorney for Health Care Law. He designated his son, Martin Stahling Jr. The subject of the controversy was the transfer by Stahling Sr. to a deed of acres of land to himself and Stahling Jr. as joint tenants.
Stahling Sr. died in November 2007m bringing rise to the claim by his daughter, Martie Koehler, who maintained that (1) Stahler Jr. owed a fiduciary duty to his father and (2) there was a presumption that Stahling Jr. obtained the real estate by undue influence.
The question of law was certified by a Jersey County, Illinois, judge for immediate appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court.