Skip to main content

How will the settlement in my husbands wrongful death case be classified so as to avoid state taxes?

Somerset, NJ |

I won the wrongful death case, the jury verdict 3 MIllion split between myself & my 2 adult daughters. We are about to settle before the case goes to the appellate court. I am pretty sure the settlement will be Fed tax free. How can I ensure that it will also be state tax free for me as well as my daughters. I was the only beneficiary in the will.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 8


I'm sure your attorney has already addressed, given you advise or prepared for this. If not, contact an estate/probate/tax attorney(s).

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff


You should speak with your current attorney about such issues. If you're not represented, seek an attorney who handles such issues immediately. I can provide a referral if you need one. Good luck.

The above is general information only and is not legal advice. The information provided does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should not be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney until we sign a retainer agreement.


Your current lawyer did a great job. He or she probably isn't a tax attorney, but has experience. What I do is tell folks my best opinion, but to spend a few bucks and get really good advice from an attorney who specializes in tax. There are differences in the Wrongful Death and Survival Act portion of the settlement. Tread carefully. Good luck.

Please note that these answers are provided as a community service and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.



I am very sorry for the loss you and your family suffered. You would do best to consult with the fine attorney who did such good work on your case and discuss with her or him whether you should consult with a tax expert on how to structure the settlement, there may be options available to avoid negative tax consequences and this may affect your negotiations.


You should not only consult a Tax Attorney, but you should consider what is called a structured settlement, depending on your age. That's a type of tax free annuity for wrongful death settlements specifically provided for in the tax code. Your lawyer should be able to recommend a Structured Settlement Broker; if not, I'm happy to give you a few names. But by doing that, it increases the amount you'll receive over time, make it tax free and protect it from any other kind of liabilty, so its a conservative, but safe, strategy for settling your lawsuit. Good luck!!
Scott Hendler


With the settlement you received, I congratulate both you and your attorney. I am sorry for your loss. Your attorney should have the answer to this question. If not, they can certainly refer you to a tax specialist in your State.


Sorry for the loss of your loved one. Monies that are to compensate any pain and suffering should not be taxed. Monies that are to compensate for pecuniary loss could be taxed. Ask your attorney how the damages are broken down and consult a tax professional if there are still open questions.

Get Avvo’s 3-part personal injury email series

A roundup of the best tips and legal advice.

Personal injury topics

Recommended articles about Personal injury

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer