Under state law, wrongful Ohio death suits are brought in the name of the executor of the decedent’s estate in the name of various beneficiaries. A beneficiary is someone who is entitled to financial compensation should the case be proven.
In Ohio, the beneficiaries are relatives of the decedents, such as the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, parents, and siblings. A parent who a court determines had abandoned a minor child may not be a beneficiary in a wrongful death claim should the child die.
The probate court judge determines how a settlement or award is to be distributed among the potential beneficiaries based on the relationship between the decedent and the degree of loss to the beneficiary. For instance, if the decedent was the breadwinner in the family, the surviving spouse and children would be given more money than a sibling of the decedent.
If all the beneficiaries are at the same level in the law’s eyes. For example, a group of siblings, they can decide among themselves how to divide up the money and/or assets left by the deceased and ask the court for approval.
Beneficiaries under 25 years old can be treated differently by the Court in order to protect their interests. The Court can create a trust for beneficiaries under 25 and order that the money is held in trust until the beneficiary turns 25 or that it be distributed in accordance with the terms of the trust.
If you or someone you know has lost a loved one due to tragic circumstances, you need information. Call our office at toll-free to order your FREE copy of The Ohio Wrongful Death Book to learn your rights. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have six locations in northwest Ohio where we can meet with you to discuss your case in a free consultation.