Financial Planning After Wrongful Death: How a Lawyer Can Help Secure Your Future

Losing a loved one is emotionally challenging enough, but financial problems may accompany this traumatic event. Unfortunately, grief could easily distract you from the financial planning and legal reparations that could ensure your long-term well-being and that of your family.

When your future is at stake while you are still grieving, a personal injury lawyer can play a crucial role in helping you regain your financial stability. Indeed, an experienced lawyer can assist you in traversing the complex legal landscape to pursue a wrongful death settlement.

In this article, we will first discuss practical steps you can take to ensure your family’s financial well-being after losing a loved one due to someone’s negligence. Then, we will explain how a wrongful death attorney can put his or her legal knowledge to work – to secure your financial future.

How to Go About Financial Planning After Wrongful Death

Financial planning ensures that you and your family can continue to be supported without your absent loved one’s contributions. When you take this step, make sure to consider both recent bills and the long-term costs.

When a personal injury attorney takes on your case, he or she will also make these factors a top priority when securing compensation by means of your wrongful death claim or lawsuit. Thus, a personal injury lawyer can guide you through the following steps to maximize your settlement.

1. Consider your current financial situation

How were your family’s finances prior to your loved one’s passing, and how has your tragic loss affected your money situation? 

To determine your current situation, first:

  • Evaluate your current financial status: Assess your current financial situation, including bank accounts, reliable income, outstanding debts, and immediate expenses. 
  • Add up your loved one’s medical bills: Did the accident that led to your loved one’s death land him or her in the hospital and/or call for surgery? In such cases, don’t overlook any medical bills that your deceased loved one may have incurred prior to death. You may end up being the one billed for these costs, in which case a survival action may need to be filed.
  • Consider other accident-related costs: If your loved one died in or due to a personal injury accident, then property damage and other costs that would have been paid to him or her in the event of survival should be counted up as well. For instance, is the family car damaged? You will need repair or replacement costs covered.
  • Identify your family’s immediate needs:Determine urgent financial needs such as daily living, funeral, and burial expenses.

2. Seek income replacement and support

Was your loved one who passed away the breadwinner in your family? If so, our hearts go out to you for the stress you must be feeling under such unexpected changes and growing financial pressure. 

Please be aware that the following avenues may be open to you:

  • Life insurance benefits: If the deceased had life insurance, file a claim to receive the benefits, which can provide immediate financial relief
  • Social Security benefits: If you are eligible, apply for Social Security survivor benefits, which can provide ongoing financial support for minor children or a surviving spouse
  • Retirement accounts: Check for any retirement accounts or pensions and understand how to claim these benefits

3. Manage debt

Unfortunately, debt does not simply vanish upon the passing of the debtor. At the same time, though, if the debts owed exceed the assets of the deceased person’s estate, then the remaining balance either goes unpaid or someone else may be held liable

In some states, you could find yourself facing medical bills or other debts that your loved one left behind. 

When determining the debt you may owe, consider the following: 

  • Credit card debt
  • Medical debt
  • Mortgage debt
  • Student loan debt

Once you have reviewed all outstanding debt owed by you and your deceased loved one, identify and prioritize them as necessary. To reduce financial strain down the road, you could focus on paying off high-interest debts first.

A personal injury lawyer may advise you on protecting your interests from creditors who may have claims to the wrongful death settlement funds.

4. Consider taxes

Don’t forget about both your taxes and those of the deceased party. While not all your loved one’s debt may be imposed on you, remember that tax authorities are usually given priority as creditors. 

Ensure that all taxes for the deceased’s estate, property, and income are filed correctly and on time. 

You should also be aware of any tax implications related to the settlement or inheritance. For instance, most wrongful death settlements are not taxable, whether awarded as a structured settlement or lump-sum payment. However, a lump-sum payment may be subject to income tax when used to purchase traditional investments, such as interest

According to the IRS, punitive damages may also be taxable in certain states. Consult a tax professional to make sure you avoid problems.

5. Review your insurance coverage

Taking time to refresh yourself on the insurance coverage you have may help you find ways of addressing your financial situation while also revealing your need for new policies. 

Take these steps:

  1. Start by evaluating existing insurance policies, including health, auto, and home insurance – to ensure adequate coverage and adjust as necessary. 
  2. Consider taking out new policies as well. Depending on your new financial situation, consider purchasing additional insurance policies, such as life or disability insurance, to protect your family.
  3. Calculate how much you are entitled to receive via life insurance. A wrongful death attorney is qualified to help you with this step, and his or her advice could be especially invaluable in case the insurance company denies you benefits or offers a settlement that isn’t enough to cover your long-term financial needs.

When a wrongful death lawsuit against a stubborn insurance company becomes necessary, your personal injury attorney will let you know. He or she can take on this legal burden for you, so you can continue focusing on your and your family’s recovery during this difficult time. 

How a Lawyer Can Help You Get a Fair Wrongful Death Settlement

When you have a wrongful death case on your hands, the right personal injury lawyer for you will be experienced with wrongful death cases and can also evaluate your long-term financial needs. 

Experienced wrongful death attorneys have seen cases like yours before and know all the financial implications that can accompany accident-related damages and even your final wrongful death settlement. When lawyers take on your case, they will work closely with you to make sure you and your family get the money you are due – for your survival.

So, when you feel overwhelmed by your situation and the legal processes ahead of you, don’t go it alone. You can seek affordable assistance so you can be fairly compensated for all your losses.

Assessing all economic and non-economic damages

Determining the full extent of damages in a wrongful death case involves more than just calculating immediate expenses. A personal injury lawyer can also add up the non-economic losses – hard to quantify in dollar amounts – that you have suffered due to your loved one’s death, such as loss of companionship.

Negotiating with the insurance companies

When you have a potential or ongoing wrongful death claim on the line, you don’t want to do anything or say something to the insurance company that might forfeit your right to more money. Therefore, leave all negotiations to your personal injury lawyer, who has the know-how to maximize your wrongful death settlement amount.

To make a profit, insurance companies tend to settle claims quickly and for the least amount possible. But your personal injury lawyers will fight to ensure you receive fair compensation, keeping your long-term financial situation in mind. 

Filing a lawsuit and going to court on your behalf if necessary

If a fair wrongful death settlement cannot be reached by means of out-of-court negotiations, your personal injury lawyer will be prepared to take the next step. After all, you have options.

For one, a lawsuit can be filed against the insurance company that refuses to treat you fairly. In addition, it may even be possible to obtain further compensation by means of a third-party lawsuit against the responsible party. 

Your personal injury attorney can clarify whether these options apply to your case and when each step becomes necessary. In the event your case does go to trial, you can be sure that your wrongful death lawyer will represent your interests, present evidence, and make compelling arguments to secure the compensation you deserve in court.

Giving you free advice on your wrongful death claim and your financial planning

At most personal injury firms, which typically handle wrongful death cases, prospective clients are given a free initial consultation during which their potential legal claims can be evaluated. We also offer free consultations at Minton Law.

During your discussion with us, we can point you in the right direction as far as figuring out your current financial status. You can request that we connect you with financial advisors who can create a comprehensive plan tailored to your specific circumstances.

When we take on your case, we will examine the full financial impact of your loved one’s death on you and your family. Once you get the money you are due, perhaps as a lump-sum settlement, we can help you understand how to manage and invest the amount to ensure your long-term needs can be met.

Get Wrongful Death Settlements Paid With Our Help

Remember that you not only require legal and financial assistance at this challenging time – you also need emotional support. You can find all this when you work with Minton Law.

Our founder, Justin Minton, used to be an insurance adjuster – so he has prepared his entire legal team on exactly how to oppose the insurance companies who want to cut your wrongful death settlement funds short. When you work with us, you don’t have to let them get away with it. 

Our compassionate lawyers are ready to maximize your wrongful death settlement funds. We want to see you get through the emotional challenges, through to the other side, to where you can enjoy financial and emotional stability with your family.

Contact our law firm to ensure accurate and effective financial planning that addresses your immediate needs, long-term goals, and family’s unique circumstances. With so many concerns to juggle, seeking the guidance of our wrongful death attorneys will be well worth your time. 

Give us a call today for your free consultation at 855-Xadjuster. Our representatives are standing by 24/7 to take your call, which may just be your first step toward achieving long-term financial stability.

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