How a will affects payments
Henry Gornbein: Howard, if there’s a will, then it’s a simple matter and you don’t have to worry about that. Isn’t that correct?
Howard Linden: No, that’s not true and I’ll tell you why. Another excellent question. Wills are basically blueprints. In a will you can put in who would be the natural objects of your bounty are. That’s the fancy word for probate work. However, under the wrongful death statute there are other people who are called interested parties, who I’ve alluded to earlier in our conversation. They also must be notified and participate. They have a right to make a claim. So, when there is a wrongful death case started, everybody under the statute and in the will if there is one, is entitled to notification. It is mandatory. You must send out a notice of pending litigation and of your right to make a claim. The will can be used in some spots but it is not exclusive. In fact it is very not exclusive. It’s more inclusive because wills are mainly used in these scenarios when you get someone who isn’t a proper party of interest under the wrongful death statute who would be entitled to some sort of share. For example, in a wrongful death case, a spouse, children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters are the designated interested parties who have a claim in a case. But if a will mentions Aunt Betty to get something or Uncle Steve to get something, who fall outside of the enumerated class of people you have to notify them as well. Therefore they are in addition to the normal class of people. I don’t want to be too complicated but it expands the class as opposed to restricts the class.