How much of a claim does my husband's family have to the estate? 27 Answers as of May 04, 2015

My husband died in a work accident almost 2 and a half years ago. The wrongful death case has been settled and the money is going into an estate. How much of a claim will the family of my husband have to the estate? I have a young son and am just wondering if there is a set guideline that the court uses.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
It depends on whether he has a will or is intestate. If he is intestate, under Nevada law his wife and children would split the estate.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/4/2015
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
If by family you mean his parents, siblings and their descendants other than your son, probably nothing. If you mean his children by a previous relationship, probably 1 quite a bit.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/4/2015
Candiano Law Office
Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
You are mistaken. If you prosecuted a wrongful death action, it does NOT go into the estate, it is distributed among the decedent's heirs as the heirs agree OR the Court will hold a dependency hearing. Unless your husband had children from a prior marriage, ONLY you and your son get the money. Your attorney should have explained this. Hopefully, you have an attorney on the Death Claim through Workers' Compensation as this claim entitles you and your son to weekly income for 25 years and $8,500.00 to cover burial expenses. Your attorneys should also have told you that NOBODY gets any money from the 3rd party action until the Workers' Compensation Carrier is repaid. Your attorney can only take a 25% fee on the portion of the recovery that must be paid to the Workers' Compensation insurance. Experienced Workers' Compensation and personal injury attorneys deal with these matters every day. Make sure your attorney(s) understand(s) what he is doing.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/4/2015
S. Joseph Schramm | Joseph Schramm
In Pennsylvania there are wrongful death and survival actions, often brought together. Money received as damages in a wrongful death case go, first to the personal representative of the estate (administrator/trix if there is no will, executor/trix if there is a will), then to the spouse and minor dependents of the decedent. Money received as damages in a survival go, first to the estate of the decedent. The personal representative then pays the debts of the decedent, costs of administration and the inheritance taxes and distributes the remainder of these funds, along with any other remaining assets in the estate, according to the terms of the decedent's will or, if they left no will, then according to the rules of intestate descent (nearest of kin).
Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
Replied: 5/4/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
In Ohio, the entire estate would go to the surviving spouse and his child. His other family members, siblings, parents eric have no claim.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/4/2015
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, if the husband died with a last will and testament then the will should control the disposition of the asset (money), if it is a probate asset (in his estate). If there was no will, then the state "default" rules should apply for distribution to a surviving spouse and children. Where the money will go in this scenario will depend on knowing a few more details.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    Wrongful death proceeds bypass the estate and go straight to the heirs as if there were no estate in Alabama. Money owed minors have to go into trust. Consult with the lawyers who handled the case for details. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    The damages for wrongful death aren't part of the estate, they are special to each person who suffered damage. The settlement of the wrongful death claim should have specified what each person is entitled to. The personal representative will petition the court to approve the disposition of the settlement proceeds (after subtracting costs). You should get notice of this petition contact the personal representative's attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    In legal theory, death claims are for loss of future support, so you and your son would be the primary beneficiaries. Was he supporting his family aside from the two of you?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    The Wisconsin wrongful death statute sets up a priority of which survivors are entitled to make the claim. If there is a surviving spouse, s/he has the claim. In all likelihood, therefore, the money belongs to you. Why it was paid to the estate is a question. Did you have a lawyer make the settlement? He or she has some questions to answer about his/her judgment. As to other survivors, unless your late husband left a will, all the property goes to you if you were married at the time of his death. I strongly suggest you retain a lawyer knowledgeable about personal injury and probate, whose advice can help you stand up against family pressures. Good Luck.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    Generally his heirs are his children and you.. otherwise his family should have no claim to his estate in the absence of a will that states otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    It depends upon how many heirs their are and what degree of relationship that heir has. Contact the estate attorney or any attorney of your own to review the Petition.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Office of T. Phillip Boggess | T. Phillip Boggess
    I'm assuming that you have a probate estate opened to file the wrongful death case. Was there a Will? If not, it would go according to the intestacy rules.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    You should ask the attorney that settled the wrongful death case. He should have retained an estate lawyer to help with the various claims of your husband's relatives. If he had a will, that will control distribution. If not, then the claims will be treated differently. If your injury lawyer didn't plan for this, contact an estate lawyer yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    They have no claim. You and your son are the only beneficiaries to the settlement. Stand your ground. They can bring their own lawsuit if they wish. If they do so and prevail, you would have no claim to that judgment.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    The Krone Law Firm, LLC | Norman B. Krone
    Their claim is based upon his Will. If their is no Will, then only you and your son have a claim in most jurisdiction.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    If your husband had a Will the terms of Will determine how his estate is distributed. As his spouse on the date of death you do have rights of renunciation that allow you to receive at least a third of the estate regardless of the terms of the Will. If your husband had no will the state statute on descent and distribution control the distribution of his estate. If there is a spouse and children on the date of death, the spouse receives half of the estate and the children equally divide the remaining half of the estate. If there is no spouse on the date of death then the children receive the entire estate. If there is more than one child then the children equally divide the share of the estate due the children.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    If your husband had a will, the money remaining after all expenses for the wrongful death suit have been paid will be distributed according to the terms of that document. If he didn't, you and all of his children would most likely be the sole recipients. His family won't have a claim on the money unless your husband was part of a family business and they were a part of the suit.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Each claimant would have to prove to the judge as to the extent of their loss. You and your son would undoubtedly get almost all of the money. I suggest that you discuss that with your lawyer who handled the case; this is part of the lawyer's responsibly.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Adler Law Group, LLC
    Adler Law Group, LLC | Lawrence Adler
    It will depend on your husband's will if he had one. If not most all goes to the spouse. Check with the probate court.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A.
    Beaver Holt Sternlicht and Courie, P.A. | Mark A. Sternlicht
    There are statutes that govern the distribution of wrongful death proceeds in North Carolina. If your husband had no other children, then all of the wrongful death proceeds go to you and your son after the payment of attorneys' fees and expenses. The attorney who represented the estate should be able to answer questions about the distribution.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Ty Wilson Law | Ty Wilson
    You should not being going this alone, you should reach out to a probate attorney in the county where the estate is set up, they will be able to give you more of an idea. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    If he had a will, then the estate is divided up according to the provisions of the will. If he did not, then you get everything.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    Your son (if he is your husband's child) and yourself would receive the funds in the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Your husband's family should have no claim against the moneys for the work place death; you and your son are direct heirs to that estate money. Suggest you obtain the services of a probate attorney to advise you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Offices of Robert H. Glorch | Jeffrey R. Gottlieb
    That doesn't sound correct. A wrongful death claim doesn't belong to the estate, it belongs to the heirs. In Illinois, a decedent's spouse and children are heirs; the decedent's parents and siblings are not. If it's instead a survival personal injury claim, that would be paid to the estate. Unless your husband had a will leaving property to his parents or siblings, then they would not receive anything since they are not heirs. If there is a long-running case tat has been settled, then all of this should have been made clear before the settlement.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/1/2015
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    If you husband died in a work accident, then as his widow you have a Workers' Comp. claim for death benefits. Your children would also be entitled to part of the benefit. If a third party caused the death, then they would be liable under a civil tort suit, but the employer would be entitled to a lien for benefits paid. Normally you have to make a Comp. claim within one year unless the employer accepts the injury or pays benefits. I am unsure what happened in your situation. Go immediately to a local Workers' Comp. attorney who also handles third party lawsuits to see what needs to be done and when. The WC benefits would not go into his estate. Money from a civil suit by his estate for wrongful death would go into the estate which is then divided by California probate law among the heirs. You may need to also see a probate attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/1/2015
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney