When your family has experienced the unexpected loss of a loved one because of a fatal accident due to neglect, you may need to consider filing an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit. A Chicago wrongful death attorney can help your family with this process and work toward recovering damages for your loss.
The Family is Typically Priority #1
When the deceased has immediate family such as a spouse or children, they are typically the first choice of legal authority to file an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit, especially in the absence of a will. The person or entity that has legal authority to file an Illinois wrongful death lawsuit is known as the “administrator of the estate.”
In theory, more than one person can serve as the administrator, but it is encouraged that a single person acts on behalf of the estate of the deceased. This is especially important with families, as the administrator has to make decisions that can cause argument among family members.
The family members not acting as administrator are still involved in the Illinois wrongful death lawsuit process as beneficiaries. They are the individuals either determined by the court or specifically named in the will to receive the compensation from the division of the deceased’s estate, as well as any settlement received from the lawsuit.
Responsibilities of the Administrator of the Estate
The administrator is the person who handles the filing and decisions related to the Illinois wrongful death lawsuit. They are responsible for:
- hiring a Chicago wrongful death attorney;
- furnishing documentation for the court;
- appearing at trial and all necessary court hearings;
- representing the interests of the beneficiaries of the deceased and informing them of the case progress;
- making decisions regarding prosecution and settlement of the case;
- presenting a settlement agreement and distribution order;
- distributing the final settlement in accordance with court order; and
- filing proof with the court that the settlement has been disbursed.
These are serious responsibilities and in some cases-especially when the deceased has no close immediate family-the appointed administrator may be a non-relative or even a company, such as a bank.
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