Legal insights and tips from the veteren Attorney of 40 years.
WRONGFUL DEATH AND YOUR ATTORNEY
In the normal course of events, you may have some advance notice of your death, like in the case of cancer, heart problems, severe diabetes, or Alzheimer. In these situations, you can prepare yourself and your family You can have a Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, and Living Will executed, and you can transfer real and personal property in advance of death.
The problem arises when a loved one is killed in a tragic accident, usually a vehicular accident, without a Last Will and Testament. If the accident was not the loved one’s fault, then unethical lobbying will start with the surviving spouse, parents, brothers or sisters as to the attorney to hire.
This may start at the funeral home or with a friend or relative who has been contacted by the funeral home or an attorney. BEWARE of the wolf in sheep’s clothing, who just wants to assist you. You DO NOT need to sign an attorney contract the same day you make arrangements for the funeral.
I strongly urge you to wait until the funeral is over, and then try to calmly determine what competent, professional attorney or attorneys you would like to hire - without pressure. If an attorney contacts you, or if a non-attorney, at the request of an attorney, takes you to an attorney’s office, this is wrong and unethical. They are just looking to make money. GET AWAY.
This terrible event is something you and your spouse should discuss in advance. You can decide upon whom you would hire so you are prepared to act without pressure. If you are not married, but have children, the other parent can bring an action for the children, but the wrongful death action has to be pursued by the decedent’s Administrator/Executor for the estate. It’s always best to have a Last Will and Testament, whether you are married or not, and advise your Executor/Executrix whom to use as an attorney.
Don’t be led astray by the multiple billboards or TV ads. You need someone local who is competent, known by the courts and the people.
Again, be prepared, and do not be preyed upon by those who don’t care about you or your children, but just want a fee.
For a meeting with one of our lawyers, call our office in Corbin at 606.528.5001. Personal injury and bankruptcy clients are entitled to a free initial consultation. We maintain flexible office hours to accommodate your needs.
Please Note: David Smith, Marcia Smith are independent attorneys with individual areas of practice.