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I have a probate question. My Mother passed away in 2007 in…

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Hello, My name is***** have a probate question. My Mother passed away in 2007 in Tampa Florida. She was married to a man that was not my Father. She did not have a will. There where little asset, but a major Class Action Tobacco lawsuit that she was the plaintiff on is being settled. If her husband receive a settlement from the lawsuit am I entitled to a share?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Florida

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

On the probate side?

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I have no money for an Attorney to represent me in a probate decision. Can I ask the court for help?

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Legal
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2/6/2018
Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 5 months ago
legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,706
Experience: Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

I am sorry to hear of this;

it would depend on the terms of the class action settlement/judgment; if it is based on the wrongful death statutes codified at FL statutes 768 et seq then normally the surviving spouse and only children under the age of 25 receive any significant damages.

But it would be best to have an attorney review the terms of the settlement /judgment; the statute is below.

768.20 Parties.—The action shall be brought by the decedent’s personal representative, who shall recover for the benefit of the decedent’s survivors and estate all damages, as specified in this act, caused by the injury resulting in death. When a personal injury to the decedent results in death, no action for the personal injury shall survive, and any such action pending at the time of death shall abate. The wrongdoer’s personal representative shall be the defendant if the wrongdoer dies before or pending the action. A defense that would bar or reduce a survivor’s recovery if she or he were the plaintiff may be asserted against the survivor, but shall not affect the recovery of any other survivor.

History.—s. 1, ch. 72-35; s. 1168, ch. 97-102.

768.21 Damages.—All potential beneficiaries of a recovery for wrongful death, including the decedent’s estate, shall be identified in the complaint, and their relationships to the decedent shall be alleged. Damages may be awarded as follows:

(1) Each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent’s injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value. In evaluating loss of support and services, the survivor’s relationship to the decedent, the amount of the decedent’s probable net income available for distribution to the particular survivor, and the replacement value of the decedent’s services to the survivor may be considered. In computing the duration of future losses, the joint life expectancies of the survivor and the decedent and the period of minority, in the case of healthy minor children, may be considered.

(2) The surviving spouse may also recover for loss of the decedent’s companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury.

(3) Minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. For the purposes of this subsection, if both spouses die within 30 days of one another as a result of the same wrongful act or series of acts arising out of the same incident, each spouse is considered to have been predeceased by the other.

(4) Each parent of a deceased minor child may also recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors.

(5) Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death may be recovered by a survivor who has paid them.

(6) The decedent’s personal representative may recover for the decedent’s estate the following:(a) Loss of earnings of the deceased from the date of injury to the date of death, less lost support of survivors excluding contributions in kind, with interest. Loss of the prospective net accumulations of an estate, which might reasonably have been expected but for the wrongful death, reduced to present money value, may also be recovered:

1. If the decedent’s survivors include a surviving spouse or lineal descendants; or

2. If the decedent is not a minor child as defined in s. 768.18(2), there are no lost support and services recoverable under subsection (1), and there is a surviving parent.

(b) Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent’s injury or death that have become a charge against her or his estate or that were paid by or on behalf of decedent, excluding amounts recoverable under subsection (5).

(c) Evidence of remarriage of the decedent’s spouse is admissible.

(7) All awards for the decedent’s estate are subject to the claims of creditors who have complied with the requirements of probate law concerning claims.

(8) The damages specified in subsection (3) shall not be recoverable by adult children and the damages specified in subsection (4) shall not be recoverable by parents of an adult child with respect to claims for medical negligence as defined by s. 766.106(1).

History.—s. 1, ch. 72-35; s. 2, ch. 81-183; s. 1, ch. 85-260; s. 2, ch. 90-14; s. 1169, ch. 97-102; s. 1, ch. 2002-44; s. 66, ch. 2003-416.

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Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 5 months ago

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;

If you have no further questions a positive rating is most appreciated (at no additional cost to you) and allows the site to credit my account for the time spent assisting you!

if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answerand I will do my best to get you the requested information.
Thanks!

The above information is for educational purposes only. A consultation with a private attorney is recommended so they can apply the law to your specific facts, and suggest the best course of action. An attorney can be located here:
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