Q: Who has a right to bring wrongful death claims on behalf of the deceased?
A: Under Illinois law anyone can "act" as the special administrator to serve in name as the plaintiff for the decedent. The persons who can receive compensation under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act are the "next of kin." In many cases a probate estate wherein the administrator or executor of the decedent's estate would serve as the plaintiff on behalf of the decedent. A probate estate is opened especially if the decedent had a period of survival and thus a Survival Act count would be included in the lawsuit. If there is a survival element to the case, the persons that can receive compensation for that portion of the case are the heirs of the decedent, which is different than the next of kin for the Wrongful Death.
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