Who is entitled to share an insurance settlement filed and paid out after death?

UPDATED: Apr 1, 2011

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Who is entitled to share an insurance settlement filed and paid out after death?

Father was diagnosed with mesothelioma after death.Lawsuits were filed. Brother claims that half of the money goes to him based on Will is this right. My father past away 2 years ago leaving my brother as executor of his Will. Father left his share of property to brother other half to be divided among the living children. Father diagnosed with mesothelioma after death. Brother took action without consulting family. Filed lawsuits only through his name. His claim is that since father left half of property to him, therefore,he is entitled to half of money from lawsuit. s this a legal claim?

Asked on April 1, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for your current situation.  Is it possible that your uncle (when you say "brother" I am assuming that you mean your father's brother) filed the suit as Executor of the estate?  That would make sense when you say that he filed it in his name only.  As the executor of the estate he has the right and the obligation to take action on behalf of your father's estate.  Now, I think that it may be time for you to consult with an attorney on your behalf and on behalf of your siblings.  The settlement proceeds should be distributed as part of the "residuary" clause: all the rest, residue and remainder of the estate is usually how it starts. But one would need to read the Will here.  Also, if you believe that your Uncle is not handling things correctly you can take steps to have him removed.  Good luck to you.

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