Q: Can a cousin file a wrongful death claim
A: Sorry for your loss. Generally speaking, a wrongful death lawsuit can only be brought by the duly-appointed representative of the estate, either the executor (if there was a Will) or administrator (if there was no Will). Although you can certainly file a petition to be appointed administrator, other family members would have priority over you such as a surviving spouse, child, parent and/or sibling. https://law.justia.com/codes/new-york/2013/ept/article-4/part-1/4-1.1 If any of them have been appointed executor or administration of the estate, their decision whether to bring (or not bring) a wrongful death lawsuit will be final.
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