April 27, 2018


We hired a lawyer back in 2008 for wrongful death of a relative. The person that was in charge (my mother) passed. I began dealing with the lawyer this year after a cousin found out she was not entitled to any award.

I was notified that there was a settlement. I needed to provide death certs to prove I should receive funds. Was told by the lawyer that he sent all paperwork to a surrogate lawyer. What is the process after that? When should a check come in?

Also what is the cut normally for a lawyer in a case similar?


When a wrongful death case is settled, it needs to be approved by the trial court judge - or in some counties, approved by the Surrogate - it all depends on where the case is. In any event, no funds can be distributed to the next-of-kin without a Surrogate's court decree. Some lawyers (like me) do both, but its not unusual for a separate surrogate's court attorney to be brought in to settle the Estate. It's a complicated process, and Surrogate's court proceedings move slowly - call lawyer you hired, as well as the Surrogate's court lawyer!

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