Pittsburgh, PA asked in Wrongful Death for Pennsylvania

Q: can I file a wrongful death case even though I am only the granddaughter and not in the will.... and settlement happens?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko
  • Allentown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Your question does not really make sense, and you need to consult a lawyer. However, (1) If there was a settlement of the involved claims, the matter is over; (2) There are two components to a death action-(a) wrongful death, and (b) survival action. In order to file a death action an estate must be opened and an executor (if there is a Will) or an administrator (if there is not a Will) must be appointed. The executor/administrator then must file the death action. The survival action is a part of the estate, and would pass in accordance with a Will. The wrongful death action is not a part of the estate and passes to certain beneficiaries: spouse or children, or, infrequently, parents. A grandchild is not entitled to benefit from a wrongful death claim. A grandchild can benefit from a survival action claim if the grandchild is named in the Will or if there is no spouse and there are no children or parents of the deceased. Under those circumstances, the grandchild would be the closest kin.

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