A potential wrongful death suit following a high-profile police shooting in Cincinnati highlights the importance of an estate plan.
The death of an unmarried man with 11 children who was shot by a University of Cincinnati police officer has sparked massive media attention and a likelihood of a wrongful death suit. In July, Sam DuBose was shot and killed while pulling away from a traffic stop. The now former officer in the shooting has been charged with murder.
One of the key issues in the case is who would pursue a wrongful death claim against the university.
As Cincinnati.com reports in "Settlement talks to begin in DuBose case" that issue has been resolved.
Both DuBose's mother and father applied in probate court to be given management of the estate, although his mother later withdrew her application. Instead of appointing one of these older relatives, the court has appointed DuBose's 18-year-old daughter.
The reason for this is an important principle of estate law: if an unmarried person passes away without naming an executor for the estate, then a strong preference is to appoint a child. In this case, the daughter was judged to be competent and capable of managing the estate, so she was appointed.
Although a wrongful death case against the University of Cincinnati has not been filed yet, it appears that the school is eager to settle this case as quickly as possible.
Sam DuBose's 18-year-old daughter will most likely be the person managing a few million dollars in the foreseeable future as well as the distribution of funds to DuBose's other family members.
Reference: Cincinnati.com (Nov. 19, 2015) "Settlement talks to begin in DuBose case"