If a praecipe to settle and discontinue is filed in a civil case, does that mean a settlement is reached? 4 Answers as of December 06, 2013

My family filed a lawsuit against an auto maker for faulty equipment in the death of my father in 2012. A praecipe to settle and discontinue has been filed in the courthouse. Does that mean a settlement has been reached? My step mother and father are listed as the plaintiffs in this case, but there is an open estate. Would a settlement go into the estate and divided, or strictly to the spouse? He did have a will.

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Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
This is not a California case so I am not sure what is going on. My guess is that a settlement has been reached. You have to check with your stepmother or go to the court house or on line to see what the filed document says. Your stepmother filed a loss of consortium claim [loss of her husband] and any settlement would state what part goes to her and what part to your father's estate. What goes to him would be considered his personal property and not community property [important in California and the former Spanish states] so all of it should go into the estate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/6/2013
Candiano Law Office
Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
In a Wrongful Death action, the proceeds do not go through the estate. Your step-mother MUST advise the Court as to living heirs. Typically, the heirs decide on a distribution scheme. The Court will approve whatever the heirs agree upon. If no agreement can be reached, the Court will decide, after a Hearing. This is time-consuming and expensive (each heir MUST have a separate attorney who will be billing $300 - $500 per hour). Still, if you and your step-mother cannot agree, you should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/6/2013
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
It sounds like a settlement has been reached. In Alabama, death settlement proceeds by-pass the estate and go directly to the heirs at law. The 1st $50k goes to the spouse and then the rest is split evenly between the spouse and the children. The spouse gets half of the remaining proceeds and the children divide up the other half evenly. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 12/6/2013
Nicholas L. Triantos, Attorney at Law | Nicholas L. Triantos
Would have to see the documents to provide you with a response.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 12/6/2013
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