How to properly distribute monies received from a wrongful death lawsuit?

UPDATED: Jan 5, 2012

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How to properly distribute monies received from a wrongful death lawsuit?

My mother’s spouse had filed lawsuits for asbestos exposure and contracting mesothelioma. He had received some payout before his death and she had received some after his death. He had 3 children prior to marriage with my mom;  they are all in the 50 year old age range. The documents she received suggested distribution to all family members. Her question is, what percentage or how much should be distributed to the kids of his prior marriage?

Asked on January 5, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The first item to determine is to whom are the payments made out to? Your mother? Your mother's spouse? Both?

If the settlement check(s) is/are to your mother's spouse or his estate, then heirs under his estate would receive the proceeds in accordance to terms of his Will or trust (typically in the residual clause).

If the check(s) is to your mother, she gets the proceeds herself as the beneficiary under the wrongful death case of her deceased husband. The key is to whom the settlement check is made out to to determine who gets the proceeds.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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