Q: I will be receiving a settlement for a suit I filed for wrongful death of my father. It was product liability. I am the
Only heir, my dad died 6 yrs ago with a will naming me sole beneficiary. They have already run complete lien checks to be sure nothing is owed to anyone. I’m going to be receiving a settlement check but they want to put check to the estate of. I called bank and they are telling me I would have to open an estate bank account, which in itself is a process. I just don’t understand after 6 yrs why I would be forced to do that. The info I’m reading about estate accounts look more for an executor of an estate to need, not the sole beneficiary and only child with a valid will. I want to know if the lawyer can’ put the check in my name seeing as I filed the lawsuit. Every person including attorney claims it won’t be taxable because of the type of settlement it is, personal injury.He is a difficult lawyer.There isn’t any punitive damages awarded as I’m told that may have been taxable.
Then second even if it could possibly be taxable wouldn’t that be my responsibility to handle that with IRS.
Show your lawyer the will, in which you are named sole beneficiary. Then emphasize that the money is going to end up with you anyway, and that going thru the estate process (filing with the Probate court, advertising your appt. as executor, etc) will be a worthless (and needlessly expensive) endeavor. And implore him to make the check payable to you. I literally just had the same situation arise and did for the client what you are seeking. Good luck,
A: It is surprising there was no Personal Rep appointment in order to proceed with the case. There is a requirement to notice the Estate Recovery Unit of a Probate Petition as there is an automatic lien for Masshealth/Medicaid benefits. Also, the size of the Estate-whether over or under $1,000,000 for Massachusetts residents due to Massachusetts Estate Tax laws. Lastly, the Insurance Company paying the settlement would be paying the Estate and therefore a Federal Taxpayer ID for the Estate would be needed. The appropriate Probate Petition would also determine the decedent's heirs . In sum, you should contact probate counsel.
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