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As executor of my exhusband's estate, can I file suit for wrongful death and receive the benefits if the case is settled.

Mobile, AL |

He was a diaysis patient for 5 years at a local Fresenius Medical facility. He suffered a mild heart attack in 2010, prior to his death on 06/2011. He has two adult siblings and never had kids of his own.

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The executor of an estate usually has a valid claim against the state for the value of services rendered, but is not a beneficiary of the estate solely by virtue of the appointment. This is confusing in most cases, where one of the heirs or beneficiaries is also the executor. If, on the other hand, your ex-husband left a will executed after the divorce and naming you as a beneficiary, you could be entitled to receive benefits. Without status for you as a beneficiary and without a will, the estate (after payment of debts) will go to the heirs at law.

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This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


You could be paid for our time to pursue, but the laws of Alabama would decide who gets what. If you recover, the money goes to estate. His children would normally receive the money. An ex wife would not have a right to anything.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.


It depends who the beneficiaries are in the will.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email -


As noted by the others, the executor is entitled to reasonable payment for the services provided. With respect to any other benefits there are many factors to be considered. Consultation with an attorney, at this point, is approproiate.


You can get paid a fee for being the executor, but the beneficiaries would obviously get the lion's share.

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Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit is determined by Alabama statute. As executrix, you most likely can file a wrongful death suit but cannot receive the benefits for yourself. You could receive compensation and expenses for performing your duties as executrix, but your ex-husbands siblings would receive the proceeds of a lawsuit.

This response is given solely as a general response to the question and does not create an attorney / client relationship between the questioner and responder.

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