Florida law states that only a personal representative (aka “executor of the estate”) can initiate a wrongful death lawsuit. Florida law further states that personal representatives must be Florida residents. If the deceased has a will that names a personal representative, this person will be responsible for overseeing the administration and distribution of the deceased’s estate, including initiating wrongful death litigation on their behalf. If the decedent did not have a will, then a probate court will appoint someone.
Although only the personal representative is allowed to initiate the lawsuit, other beneficiaries such as the surviving spouse, children, parents, adoptive siblings, or other blood relatives can be parties to the wrongful death lawsuit and receive a portion of the compensation.