Is A Wrongful Death Settlement Community Property?

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If you have lost somebody you love due to the negligent or intentional actions of another person, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. Whether your case is completed and you have received a settlement, or if your wrongful death claim is ongoing, you may want to know whether or not a wrongful death settlement is considered community property in South Carolina when it comes to marriage. At The Jeffcoat Firm, we want to answer this question for you. Our wrongful death lawyers serve Columbia and Lexington as well as the surrounding areas, and we are ready to get you through this today. 

Whether this is community property depends on the situation 

When determining whether or not a wrongful death settlement will be community property, we must look at the relationship of the deceased to both spouses. In general, if the deceased person shared a blood relationship to both spouses (the deceased was their child), then the court will likely treat the award as community property to be considered belonging to both spouses equally. 

However, things become less definitive if the deceased was a family member of only one of the parties in the marriage. For example, if the spouse is a stepparent to a deceased child, then the biological parent would be the one to receive the wrongful death settlement, thereby making it separate property. Similarly, if one of the spouses receives a wrongful death settlement due to the loss of a person on their side of the family (a parent or grandparent), this would also be considered separate property. 

In the event that one of the spouses used commingled funds to care for a loved one before they died, then the other spouse may be entitled to their portion of the money that was spent on the care. 

If the spouse who receives the wrongful death settlement commingles their settlement with marital property or accounts, then this would now be considered community property.

We offer a free consultation of your wrongful death case

If you have lost somebody you love due to the negligent or intentional actions of another party, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim. However, it is important to understand how wrongful death compensation is classified when it comes to marital property. At The Jeffcoat Firm, our wrongful death lawyers serve all South Carolina counties, and we are ready to get to work on your behalf. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling us at 803-373-1302.

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