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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7417
Experience:  30+ yrs. handling probate estate, wills, trust, inheritance & real estate related matters
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If I received an Insurance check that said: Pay to the order

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If I received an Insurance check that said: Pay to the order of: John Doe, Administrator to the estate of June Doe, Only.

1) Would that be able to be deposited into my checking acct. or would I have to open up a Est. acct. to cash it. (2) Also is it a probate matter. There was never any clam file in probate court on a wrongful death . we settled at the max with the Insurance co . Just a small Est. was open to settle her bills with the probate court and that's how i'm the Admin. to her Est. She was my daughter and I am now raising her children . I have full Guardianship also
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If I received an Insurance check that said: Pay to the order of: John Doe, Administrator to the estate of June Doe, Only.

1) Would that be able to be deposited into my checking acct. or would I have to open up a Est. acct. to cash it. (2) Also is it a probate matter. There was never any clam file in probate court on a wrongful death . we settled at the max with the Insurance co . Just a small Est. was open to settle her bills with the probate court and that's how i'm the Admin. to her Est. She was my daughter and I am now raising her children . I have full Guardianship also

Response: You would need to open an estate account in order to cash the check. The check belongs to the estate and not to you. So, you cannot deposit the check in your personal account. You have to deposit the check in an account specifically opened to pay bills of the estate.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I was under the understanding that the funds would go to her children not to any creditors. she had nothing when she died. we never started a wrongful death clam in the probate court.

May I ask why you gave me a negative rating for specifically answering the question that you asked?

Kindly note that I have ethical and professional obligation to provide you with accurate information eventhough that information may not be what you want to hear.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well you started off by stating that the money wasn't mine. I never thought it was. I was just asking a question. if I need to open an est. acct. and I also see you don't really know to much about Vermont law. If you did you would know that I also am on of the Beneficiary. Vermont's wrongful death statute provides that the personal representative of the estate may be awarded for "pecuniary injuries." 14 V.S.A. § 1492(b). "Pecuniary injuries" are not limited to purely economic losses and may include recovery for loss of companionship, as well as a compensation for lost intellectual, moral and physical training, or the loss of care, nurture and protection. Clymer v. Webster, 156 Vt. 614, 629-630 (1991); Mobbs v. Central Vermont Ry, 150 Vt. 311, 316 (1988). Thank you and have a nice night.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Beneficiaries entitled to collect under Vermont's Wrongful Death Statute are defined in the statute. Of course, her 2 young children are included under the statute. Parents of an adult child also can benefit under the statute. Other people who were dependent on your daughter, should such people exist, are also entitled to recover. Siblings of the decedent may or may not be entitled to recover, depending on their dependency. Depending upon how long your daughter survived between the time of collision and the time of her demise, she would have a survival action for her pain and suffering, recovery for which would flow to the estate and also be divided among her heirs. Wrongful death damages for beneficiaries do not become part of the estate assets, but rather flow directly to the statutory beneficiaries. Creditors cannot attach any of those funds to pay any outstanding debts of the decedent.

Hello. Another expert here and I will try to assist. I am not in VT, buy my state has similar Wrongful Death laws. Your understanding is correct that the money in a WD settlement is for the benefit of the survivors and is not subject to creditor claims. However, in order for the settlement to take affect there will have to be an estate administrator appointed "for Wrongful Death Purposes Only". That is the way our Letters are stamped by the Clerk when issued. Most insurance companies would require this to be done before issuing a check so that the settlement could be approved by the Probate Court and the administrator would be authorized to sign a release. You would then open an estate bank account to process the insurance draft and distribute the money however the court directs under the circumstances.

I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.

Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7417
Experience: 30+ yrs. handling probate estate, wills, trust, inheritance & real estate related matters
Irwin Law and 3 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you.