August 7, 2014


Wrongful death medical malpractice settlement is reached for my mother. The lawyer says that it will take a couple of months before he could distribute the money. I know that it has to go through the trial court fist and this institution has 60 days to either approve or deny the document. But, how long on average do the probate court takes to approve or deny the distribution? It has been 3 months since the case has settled.The paralegal told me that it takes at least 6 months for everything to be completed if all the documents are correct. Is it true? Also, what is the average time probate court usually takes to approve the disbursement? The paralegal also mentioned that probate court doesn't have a time period like the trial court that has 60 days to approve the settlement.


In such cases, even after the trial court approves the adequacy of the settlement amount, the Surrogate's court needs to be petitioned for a decree allocating and approving distribution among the next-of-kin/"distributees", as well as dealing with liens, funeral expenses, outstanding medical bills, and taxes owed, if any. There is a lot of paperwork involved some of which has to be obtained from Medicare etc., which can take a long time; I've handled many such cases, and it can take at least 6 months.

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