The children take equally. The minor child will need to have a conservator appointed for her portion of the funds.
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Children are treated equally regardless of age under the laws of intestacy so if two children, they split the estate equally. That said, during the probate process, in California, the guardian of a minor child could apply for a family allowance. Not sure if Arizona has similar provisions. That said, on closure of the estate, the remaining estate would be distributed equally.
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A wrongful death settlement as you describe is not a probate distribution so the laws of intestacy do not come into play. There may be an exception if there are no wrongful death beneficiaries who are also insureds under the UIM policy, in which case the claim belongs to the estate and the split would be 50/50.
If the beneficiaries are also insureds under the policy, the Arizona wrongful death statute simply states that wrongful death beneficiaries take according to their damages. It would seem from the tone of your question that neither beneficiary had a significant relationship with the deceased; however, if the minor was still financially dependent on the deceased then that financial dependency could amount to a basis for the minor to receive a greater percentage. It is actually easiest if the beneficiaries work out an agreement.
This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. An attorney licensed in your jurisdiction can answer questions specific to your specific fact situation and provide you appropriate advice as necessary based on the specific facts of your matter and the jurisdiction in which you reside. If you are in Arizona and interested in discussing your matter further I can be reached at: (480) 838-9000 Campbell Law PC 1839 S. Alma School Road, Suite 275 Mesa, Arizona 85210
It won't necessarily be a 50 - 50 split. If this is an underinsured motorist claim (UIM) claim in Arizona, it will be governed by the insurance policy and the wrongful death statutes, not by probate law. Although juries and arbitrators will typically treat children equally, that is not always the result, especially if one child is a minor and the other is an adult. If the UIM limits are inadequate to fully compensate the survivors, they should share in proportion to their damages. If this is a UIM claim, that probably means there has already been a settlement of the underlying liability claim. How was that settlement divided? Any settlement of a liability or UIM claim for a minor will normally require a conservatorship and court approval of the settlement. The survivors should consult with a lawyer that handles wrongful death cases.
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