Estate planning is a process that many people in Fort Mill may feel as though they only need concern themselves with in the later years of their lives. Yet no one knows when they may die, and thus the need to have someone named as the person designated to handle their affairs should they pass away is ever-present.
“Handle their affairs” can include several tasks beyond simply overseeing the dispersal of personal assets and settling one’s liabilities. Indeed, an executor may also find themselves entrusted with the task of continuing (or initiating) legal action on behalf of a decedent either for a cause of action that may have contributed to their death.
Such was the position that a woman in New Jersey recently found herself in. As the administrator of her late son’s estate, the job of seeking justice for his untimely death fell to her. The man had a documented history of depression and other issues (as well as frequent interactions with local law enforcement due to these conditions). However, during one such interaction, a police officer shot and killed him after reporting that the man had a gun.
The family ultimately sued on their son’s behalf, claiming that the local police department’s history with the man should have prepared the officer involved in the shooting to know of his limitations. The lawsuit was ultimately dropped, however, as the family reportedly did not want to have to live through the continued anguish caused by delays in the case caused by court cancellations due to COVID-19.
This case highlights the complexities that can accompany estate matters, as well as the need for legal assistance one may have in order to adequately deal with them.