Q: Is there any way to keep adult children from receiving part of a wrongful death settlement
Children have had nothing to do with their father in 30 years.
A: Probably not. There are two possible types of wrongful death cases. First, the estate of the deceased can bring the claim, in which case the settlement proceeds are divided up according to the terms of the will, and if there is no will the settlement proceeds are divided among the heirs. This will likely include adult children. Second, the spouse and the children can bring their claims individually for their own loss of companionship, in which case the settlement proceeds go directly to the individuals. However, settlements are usually just a single lump sum to be divided among the various parties as they may agree, and this is where you can get into trouble if you don't have a lawyer. You should definitely hire an attorney to handle this for you. Disputes among living heirs over the proceeds of a wrongful death settlement can get very complicated.
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