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What can an estate recover in a wrongful death suit in Florida?

The loss of a loved one can be a painful and confusing time. This is especially true if the person's death was caused by some act that was preventable. Normally, if someone else is negligent or reckless and harms another in some way, the victim has the ability to seek redress through the courts.

However, what if the harmed person was killed by the negligence or recklessness of another? In such a case, it is possible for the decedent's estate to pursue a legal claim. The decedent's personal representative would normally do this, and the estate would be a named party in the complaint along with any loved ones also seeking damages.

Florida Statute 768.21(6) provides guidance about what an estate that is involved in a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent may stand to gain. The law states that the estate's personal representative may recover lost income that may have accrued between the time the decedent was injured and the time he or she died.

The estate may also get the reasonably expected net accumulations of the decedent as long as there is a lineal descendent or surviving spouse, or if the decedent was not a minor child and had a living parent.

Finally, the estate may also recover any medical or funeral expenses attributable to the wrongful death that have been charged against the estate. Of course, any recovery in the wrongful death suit is subject to the legally proper claims of any creditors against the estate.

The death of a person who is killed due to the negligent or reckless action or inaction of another can affect loved ones even more than another type of death due to the idea that it may have been preventable. Going through a lawsuit and dealing with a person's estate at the same time simply ramps up the stress level. It is important that anyone handling a wrongful death suit in which an estate is involved understand the estate planning ramifications that may come into play. This could help him or her make informed decisions during a difficult time.

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