No. We understand that sometimes siblings have conflicts and you may have different ideas about how to handle a wrongful death lawsuit. However, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit does not belong to either of you personally.

In Iowa, That Right Belongs to Your Mother’s Estate

It is the administrator of your mother’s estate who has the legal right to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. While you and your sister are certainly suffering from your mother’s death, it was your mother who suffered the actual injury and it is her estate that has standing to bring a lawsuit. Thus, it is up to the administrator of your mother’s estate to:

  • Hire a wrongful death attorney
  • File the wrongful death lawsuit
  • Make legal decisions related to the lawsuit
  • Distribute any settlement or damages that come from the lawsuit

The administrator of the estate may be you, it may be your sister, or it may be a third party. Generally, the administrator is the person who is named as the executor in your mother’s will. However, if your mother died without a will, then an administrator may be appointed by the court.

You and Your Sister May Still Recover Damages

Even though you may not have the authority, or standing, to bring a lawsuit, you may still recover damages if the estate is successful in its claim. To find out more about your potential recovery, please talk to the administrator of the estate and please browse the related links available on this page.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.