tn laws about murder/suicide and recovery of expenses from murderer

daughter was shot 7 times and then he shot himself twice, first time didnt **** him. had a witness, foresnic md said they could not determine who died first so he said together, as her mother and only heir, he had 2 kids prior marriage….what am i entitled to under the law daughter was beneficary in all life ins.policies…they didnt open the murderer estate until the last day to do so…so me the exec. of her estate had to pay all expenses related to house including selling the house for one year house would not sell because of the crime committed there.

Asked on May 26, 2009 under Insurance Law, Tennessee

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First, I am sorry for your loss.  Yes, you do indeed have rights here as the only beneficiary of your daughter's estate and the Executor as well.  I assume that you and your attorney for the estate has kept a record of the expenses while you tried to sell the house.  Was the house joint property? You did not indicate if the parties were married before the murder.  Was there a Will?  The Estate can bring a wrongful death action against the alleged murderer.  Speak with the attorney about this.  As for the life insurance policies, there are issues to be resolved here as well.  You need to file a claim with the insurance companies asap requesting payment  and putting them on notice that you are maikng a claim.  Most likely the other estate will also file.  The insurance policies will have language in them that will determine how they are paid out when death is simultaneous.  Ask your attorney if there are contingent beneficiaries on the policy as well.  If what would happen with the money under the circumstances is not acceptable, the estate may need to bring a proceeding to declare the man a murderer. Speak with the lawyer as to how this would work legally with the estate, his estate and the kids  There are too many issues to resolve without proper legal counsel.


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