The law requires that a person be designated to handle the legal affairs of the estate. In other words, a wrongful death case can only be filed when there is someone who has legal authority to file suit on behalf of the estate of the deceased person. That “someone” is normally (but does not have to be) a relative. However, that “someone” does not have to be an actual living “person”—it can be a bank or a trust company, for example. When someone dies having left a will, the person designated by the deceased as the executor of the estate must be the one to file the lawsuit. When there is no will, a court order must be obtained appointing someone as the administrator of the estate. The person who files the lawsuit then has the power to make decisions concerning the lawsuit, including whether a suit should be filed and whether a settlement offer should be accepted. However, the executor or administrator does not ultimately get to decide who benefits from the suit or how much money they receive. If you have any questions regarding your Illinois nursing home case, we are here to answer them. We encourage you to contact us now and speak with one of our experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers.