Significance of Probate in Cases of Wrongful Death

How to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer

Losing a loved one is an overwhelmingly emotional time in a person’s life. Having that person die under circumstances that give rise to a wrongful death action increase the challenges, both emotional and legal, that family and loved ones will soon face.

Probate is not as easy of a process as people generally think. Combine the complexities of probate with the uncertainty and challenges surrounding a wrongful death claim, it quickly becomes clear why our clients reach out to us for support.

Who files the wrongful death claim?

The personal representative or executor of the decedent’s estate. There is a great deal of pressure weighing on this individual. Not only are they required to follow the wishes of the decedent’s will by distributing assets and paying all debts but they are also responsible for filing the wrongful death action.

This can be a complex process that should not be attempted without a trust attorney by your side. A lawyer has been down this path before and we know how to help you navigate through.

What happens to the proceeds from the wrongful death claim?

Simply put, any proceeds from a wrongful death settlement or verdict will become part of the estate. The funds will then be used to pay out any outstanding debts. After all debts have been paid, then the funds can be used as additional distribution amounts to beneficiaries.

What does this process look like?

The steps below may seem simple but there are many obstacles within each step that must be navigated with precision.

  • Locate and file the will
  • Inventory estate assets
  • Notice all interested parties
  • Obtain date of death values
  • File final income tax return
  • Pay debts
  • Distribute assets

When the steps above are combined with a wrongful death claim, the process will stall at certain parts. This is caused by the wrongful death claim and depends on how that claim proceeds and how quickly it concludes.

Contact us today

A probate lawyer has the experience and the skill you need to help you get through this challenging process. They will help you and stand beside you at each step to make sure you are complying with the law and the will.

The wrongful death claim presents additional challenges but we have experience handling these types of cases. We can guide you and make sure your family is compensated for the loss of your loved one. While money can’t even begin to replace the pain and loss you’re experiencing, it can help you and your family begin to heal.