In our last post we discussed people who make claims against an estate as a beneficiary. It is also possible for a lawsuit to be filed against an estate. Lawsuits occur against estates for a variety of reasons. One example is a lawsuit filed against the estate of a reckless driver who passed away as a result of the accident. The people injured by the reckless driver and the family members of the innocent person who may have died in the accident may file a lawsuit against the estate of the reckless driver.
The estate is treated like an individual in that the estate is represented by an attorney and the estate can settle claims made against it. If someone wins an award of damages and/or punitive damages, the payment must come from the estate. The estate can only pay out what it has. Beneficiaries of the estate are not required to use their own money to pay the damages to the injured person but beneficiaries of the estate may lose their entire inheritance if the damages are equal to or exceed the value of the assets in the estate.
Getting Legal Help
Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Elga Goodman can help you create a plan which protects your assets, saves tax consequences, and protects loved ones. Call us today at 973-841-5111.