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Can personal responsibility carry on after death?

  1. My Esoteric profile image91
    My Esotericposted 5 years ago

    Can personal responsibility carry on after death?

    Here is the set-up.  Wealthy person A substantially damages expensive property of wealthy person B.  Prior to settlement of the claim in court, both A and B die.  Can the estate of B carry on the suit for damages against the estate of A?  (I do have a purpose behind this strange question.)

  2. JayeWisdom profile image93
    JayeWisdomposted 5 years ago

    I'm not an attorney, but I have a feeling the answer is yes.  Since the "expensive property" of wealthy person B that was substantially damaged would have passed to his or her heirs, I'd think they still have grounds for a lawsuit against the heirs of wealthy person A because the damage inflicted by the latter affects the value of their inheritance.  Of course, the legalities of this situation probably hinge on state laws. Is either of the estates still in probate?

    Once you know the answer for certain (or, if you already do), I'll be interested to find out what the legal ramifications are in this unusual scenario.


  3. MizBejabbers profile image90
    MizBejabbersposted 5 years ago

    It is not a strange question, but a very valid one. I checked with one of the attorneys at my office and she said that in our state the answer is yes. If the lawsuit was filed before the death(s) it can continue at the will of the heirs. If the damage was not discovered until after the death, a lawsuit can be filed by the heirs after the discovery by the heirs. Filing of the suit is subject to the statutue of limitations which begins after discovery of the damage by the heirs. Of course, the finite details will vary by state, but this is the law in Arkansas. Hope this helps.

  4. My Esoteric profile image91
    My Esotericposted 5 years ago

    My wife says yes as well for Florida.  She isn't an attorney either, but her job with the Dept of Agriculture was involved in home foreclosures where similar issues arose.

    This isn't a real case, Jaye, but leading to another hub on a larger issue.  When the people are alive, the proposition is that the Constitution, in upholding property rights, allows the State, be it an actual state or the federal gov't, to "make whole again as if the damage never happened" for the injured party. 

    The reason I asked the question was to ascertain if this Constitutional right carried on after death to parties who still have a dog-in-the-fight, as Ross Perot might say, who still suffer an injury from the original action by Party A, in this case.

    The answer, which logic tells me is correct, appears to be yes, government has the authority to take what is called affirmative action to right the wrong; this is opposed to passive action like giving women the right to vote.  Do you see where I am going with this?

    Next is to read the Supreme Court decisions handed down first supporting affirmatitive action and then banning most of it.

  5. TerryK81 profile image60
    TerryK81posted 5 years ago

    Is possible....provided you have the proper persons handling your estate and all of it's assets. But then again, since both original parties have died, it may be somewhat difficult. Some places are like that; they want proof of beneficiary and inheritor, then the processing. But yes, Sir.

  6. Laura Schneider profile image92
    Laura Schneiderposted 5 years ago

    Yes, certainly, as long as there is money in the Wealthy Dead Person A's estate and the estate hasn't been "settled" yet. I don't think, however, that Dead Person B's estate would get far if they tried to go after the recipients of Dead Person A's heirs after the estate was settled, however. Perhaps (I'm no lawyer) Dead Person A's estate cannot be settled until all claims agains it have been settled. At least that seems reasonable and logical to me.  As I say, I'm no lawyer.

    1. TerryK81 profile image60
      TerryK81posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I say toss in to the burnpile and that settles it. i'm no lawyer either smile

  7. lone77star profile image83
    lone77starposted 5 years ago

    Not an attorney, but I suspect that the liabilities are tied to the estate.

    But personal responsibility lives on past death in the form of karma, too (Numbers 14:18).