My father was a recipient of the Mesothelioma lawsuit that has been settled in the class action favor He received several checks before his death in 2007. His wife (our stepmother)was beneficiary of the checks that continued after his death from lung disease . She died in 2019. Do the remaining settlement checks go to my dad's children or to his wife's grown children ?
1 Answer from Attorneys
I am sorry for your losses. An attorney will want to better understand the background. On what basis did your father’s spouse receive the payments after your father’s passing? Did the asset become hers and now it would pass through her estate or was her right limited to receiving the payments during her lifetime with any continuing right belonging to your father’s estate?
The first question I would ask is whether there are any designations through the settlement. If it comes into your father’s estate, the next question is whether your father had a will. If so, the terms in the will probably govern. Otherwise, a third alternative is that state law would govern heirship, which would be half to the spouse and half to the children or descendants of any deceased child.
In this case, the distribution would likely include the late spouse’s estate since she survived you father. Did she have a will?
As a starting point, I would contact the administrator of the settlement. They may have guidelines or FAQs they can send or they may be able to advise you about your rights, if any. Subsequently, a review by another attorney is probably also in order.