Are lawsuit proceeds considered residual estate property?

My father had a residuary estate beneficary clause in his Will listing the 2 grandchildren he had at the that time. Before he died he filed a wrongful death lawsuit (asbestos) in which the defendants have settled and paid his estate. I have been told that my mother (the surviving spouse) is not the beneficiary since it was not expressly written in the Will that she receives the lawsuit proceeds.

Asked on June 4, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York


david slater / david p.slater, esq.

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The question is whether the proceeds were for both pain and suffering and wrongfull death or just wrongful death.  The rules are different. Proceeds for pain and suffering go to the next of kin, wrongful death into the estate.

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