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Wrongful Death And The Estate Process In New York

When a spouse, family member or other loved one has been killed because of someone else’s fault, the sudden loss can be devastating and both emotionally and financially crippling. Hiring an inexperienced attorney can be one of the biggest mistakes that you can make and can further compound the grief that you are already suffering.

Often inexperienced attorneys simply file a lawsuit on behalf of the surviving spouse without setting up an estate. New York’s wrongful death laws require that any lawsuit for wrongful death be filed by an Estate. Our experienced New York wrongful death lawyers are knowledgeable about the Estate process and file the necessary papers in the New York and Westchester Surrogates Court to establish an Estate and obtain letters of administration for our wrongful death clients at no cost.

In general, the estate representative must file the lawsuit on behalf of the estate and any distributees (dependents) who were impacted financially by the death. In cases where there are several qualified estate representatives, usually the first to file has priority, so in these situations, our wrongful death attorneys prepare and file the petitions immediately.

Often in cases where parents are divorced and a child has been killed absentee parents will resurface. Too often money brings out the worst in people following the death of a child and parents who wanted nothing to do with the child while they were alive suddenly appear and want part of the proceeds of the wrongful death lawsuit. Our New York and Westchester wrongful death attorneys have brought motions to exclude the deadbeat parent from recovering anything from the lawsuit, based upon abandonment of the child prior to death. The law in New York recognizes that where a parent has intentionally abandoned a child during their life, they should not be allowed to profit from their death.

If you have lost a spouse, close family member or child, our New York and Westchester wrongful death lawyers are ready to help you through this difficult time. We have offices in Manhattan and White Plains and consultations are always free.

The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph