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Damages the Estate Can Recover

2015-02-23T10:41:32+00:00

What damages may the personal representative recover on behalf of the decedent’s estate?

The personal representative may recover:

A) –   Loss of earnings of the deceased from the date of injury to the date of death, less lost support of survivors excluding contributions in kind, with interest.

B) –   Loss of the prospective net accumulations of an estate, which might reasonably have been expected but for the wrongful death, reduced to present money value:

If the decedent’s survivors include a surviving spouse or lineal descendants (“lineal descendants” are those in direct line to an ancestor, like a child, grandchild, great-grandchild, etc.);

or

If the decedent is not a minor child (child under 25 years of age, notwithstanding the age of majority), there are no lost support and services recoverable, and there is a surviving parent.

C) –   Funeral expenses due to the decedent’s death that have become a charge against her or his estate or that were paid by or on behalf of decedent, excluding amounts recoverable by survivors who paid for the funeral expenses.

Note that evidence of remarriage of the decedent’s spouse is admissible in court. Also, the statute indicates that all awards for the decedent’s estate are subject to the claims of creditors who have complied with the necessary relevant requirements of probate law.

The statute defines net accumulations as,

“The part of the decedent’s expected net business or salary income, including pension benefits, that the decedent probably would have retained as savings and left as part of her or his estate if the decedent had lived her or his normal life expectancy. ‘Net business or salary income’ is the part of the decedent’s probable gross income after taxes, excluding income from investments continuing beyond death, that remains after deducting the decedent’s personal expenses and support of survivors, excluding contributions in kind.”