How to Recover Loss of Inheritance
We're sorry that you've lost a loved one. We understand that there are many aspects to a wrongful death claim that can be complex, but we know this area of the law well. All the various types of compensation available can be overwhelming. In this article, we'll look at what constitutes loss of inheritance, how to prove up your losses, and taking the first step in your claim.
Loss of Inheritance
In a wrongful death claim the plaintiff can recover damages for loss of inheritance. In the State of Texas "loss of inheritance" is defined as:
...the present value that the decedent would, in reasonable probability, have added to the estate and left at natural death to the statutory wrongful death beneficiaries but for the wrongful act causing the premature death.
The crux of loss of inheritance is that phrase "in reasonable probability". Who gets to decide what a person would make over the course of their life? And how do you go about trying to prove to the jury the level of compensation that seems fair? As you might guess, the jury has the burden of deciding what level of compensation is appropriate for you loss. That means it is incredibly important for you to work with an experienced attorney that has success handling wrongful death claims and is familiar with the kinds of documentation and evidence necessary to win your claim.
Proving Up Losses
We mentioned you must prove up your losses in order to recover loss of inheritance. What does that entail exactly? The plaintiff must offer proof of what the decedent's total income and expenditures would have been over the decedent's expected lifetime and proof that the plaintiff would probably have been the beneficiary of the decedent's estate. If the decedent would have earned no more than the family needed for support, or if the decedent would have outlived the wrongful death beneficiaries, damages for loss of inheritance should be denied.
Some of the relevant documents and kinds of evidence that we know look for include the decedent's savings, investments, and contributions to retirement plans. These are important considerations in determining how large the decedent's estate would have been and the extent of the loss of an expected inheritance. Other things to consider include other kinds of assets.
- Would your loved one have received an inheritance if they had not been killed prematurely?
- Would they have been the beneficiary of any gifts or life insurance policies?
Once again, the plaintiff's attorney must carefully explore the finances of the decedent's family in order to effectively pursue a claim for loss of an expected inheritance. You can see how important it is to be thorough. And Grossman Law offices has over 25 years of experience handling wrongful death claims. We know what documentation you need,
Why You Should Give Us a Call
We understand you probably have many questions regarding your claim. We have experienced attorneys available by phone 24/7 to assist you. If you just want someone to talk through the process with you, or if you need further clarification regarding what we've discussed here, give us a call. You can reach us anytime at (855) 326-0000.