Can I Get a Lawsuit Loan if I Have a Claim in Probate Court?

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pre-settlement funding and probate court claims

If you have a wrongful death settlement, and are dealing with estate-related claims, like disputes over wills and trusts, you might face financial strain during this process. Fortunately, you can still obtain a post-settlement lawsuit loan even if you have a claim in probate court.

However, legal restrictions prevent legal funding companies from providing settlement funding to minors or individuals with mental disabilities without proper court approval. 

What Is Probate Court?

When a loved one passes away due to someone else’s negligence, families might receive a wrongful death settlement as compensation. This settlement becomes part of the deceased person’s estate and must go through probate court.

Probate court is a judicial branch that handles the distribution of a deceased person’s estate, which includes any wrongful death settlements. The probate process involves validating the will, appointing an executor or administrator. If no executor is named, the court appoints an administrator.

One of the key duties of the executor or administrator is to inventory and appraise all the deceased’s assets. This includes real estate, bank accounts, investments, personal belongings, and any other property of value. 

Once the assets are inventoried, the executor or administrator pays any debts and taxes, and distributes the remaining to the rightful heirs, as directed by the will. If there is no will, the distribution follows state intestacy laws.

Financial Issues Beneficiaries May Encounter in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Dealing with the estate of a loved one who suffered a wrongful death can be emotionally and financially challenging. As a beneficiary, you may face several financial issues during the distribution of the deceased person’s estate. 

One major issue is that wrongful death lawsuits are long, often taking months or even years to resolve. During this time, you might experience significant delays in receiving your inheritance. This delay can create financial strain, especially if you were financially dependent on your loved one or are relying on the settlement to cover urgent expenses.

Another concern is that, as previously noted, outstanding debts and liabilities, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and credit card debts, must be settled before distributing any assets. If the estate lacks sufficient liquid assets to cover these debts, you might receive a reduced inheritance. This financial burden can be particularly burdensome if your loved one had serious debts, potentially requiring you to use personal funds to cover the shortfall.

Financial disagreements among beneficiaries can further complicate the distribution process. You could face conflicts over interpreting the will, valuing assets, or allocating the wrongful death settlement. These disputes can lead to costly legal battles, further depleting the estate’s value and delaying the distribution.

What is Lawsuit Funding?

Lawsuit funding, also known as a lawsuit loan or legal funding, is a cash advance provided to plaintiffs involved in ongoing and settled lawsuits. Unlike traditional loans, this funding is non-recourse, meaning you only repay when your settlements fund go through. It can be used to cover various expenses, such as medical bills, funeral costs, living expenses, and legal fees.

Eligibility for Lawsuit Loans Involving Probate Claims

To qualify for lawsuit funding, certain criteria must be met:

  1. Ongoing Lawsuit. You must have a settled lawsuit, such as a wrongful death claim.
  2. Legal Representation. You need to be represented by an attorney, as this is a requirement.
  3. Probate Court Cases. If the case involves a probate court, specific conditions apply, especially if minors or individuals with mental disabilities are involved.
  4. Beneficiary Status. Proof that you are a recognized beneficiary entitled to a portion of the estate is required.

Restrictions on Lawsuit Funding for Probate Court Cases

While settlement funding can be a lifeline, certain legal restrictions apply, particularly in cases involving probate court:

  • Minors (Under 18). Those under 18 can’t legally enter into binding contracts. This makes it impossible to secure legal funding without court approval.
  • Mental Disabilities. Mental Disabilities and Other Cases. Persons with mental disabilities under probate court supervision, as well as cases involving medical malpractice, cannot enter into binding contracts without guardian approval. This legal requirement makes these agreements unenforceable without this oversight, which essentially prevents us from providing funding.
  • Extended Probate Process. A prolonged or highly contested probate process can delay settlement funds’ distribution, and consequently affect the potential recovery. Legal funding companies, while not directly involved in the probate case, may face delays before recovering their investment.
  • Unresolved Beneficiary Disputes. Unfortunately, if the probate court has difficulty identifying or validating heirs, this could lead to legal disputes, potentially leaving less or no money to repay the funding company after the case is won.

How to Apply for Funding

Here’s a simple process to apply for a lawsuit loan if your case is in probate court:

  1. Submit Your Application: Complete the application process, which typically involves providing details about your case and financial needs.
  2. Case Evaluation: We will evaluate your probate case to determine eligibility.
  3. Agreement and Disbursement: If approved, you will sign a funding agreement. Funds are usually disbursed quickly, often within the same day.

Tip: Understand the interest rates and any fees involved. Reputable companies like Baker Street Funding offer competitive rates and transparent terms.

Alternative Options to Settlement Funding

If you’re ineligible for a lawsuit loan, don’t worry—there are several other options you can consider:

  • Personal Loans. For those ineligible for lawsuit loans, personal loans from banks or credit unions might be an option. These loans typically require a good credit score and may come with varying interest rates.
  • Family Support. Sometimes, turning to family for financial help can be the quickest and easiest solution. Your loved ones might be able to provide the support you need to cover unexpected expenses without the hassle of formal applications or interest payments.
  • Crowdfunding. Have you thought about crowdfunding? Platforms like GoFundMe let you share your story and raise money from friends, family, and even generous strangers. It’s a great way to get help quickly.
  • Negotiating Payment Plans. If you’re struggling with bills, try talking to your creditors or service providers. Many are willing to set up a payment plan that works for you, especially if they understand your situation.
  • Selling Assets. Consider selling non-essential assets, such as jewelry, electronics, or a second vehicle, to generate immediate funds. This can provide a quick financial boost instead of taking on additional debt.
  • Hardship Grants. Look for non-profit organizations or charities that offer hardship grants to people facing financial difficulties due to unforeseen circumstances. These grants do not need to be repaid.
  • Government Assistance Programs. Don’t forget about government assistance programs. You might qualify for unemployment benefits, housing assistance, or other emergency financial aid programs that can help you get through this period.

The Takeaway

Whether you need money for urgent expenses or you’re just trying to get by while waiting for your inheritance, exploring financial solutions like legal funding can make a big difference.

At Baker Street Legal Funding, our simple application process makes it easier to access the funds you need quickly, provided you meet the necessary legal criteria, such as legal representation.

With competitive rates and a quick approval process, trust us to guide you through the process and alleviate your financial concerns. Apply for funds today and get the support you need during this critical time.

At Baker Street Funding, we give you the inside scoop on pre-settlement funding by covering a variety of ... financing and legal topics to help you made the best financial decision for you and for your case. Our experts break down complex ideas in a way that's easy to understand so you can stay informed on current trends as well as tips and fact checked information by the CEO and founder, Daniel Digiaimo. Furthermore, Despite its name, consumer legal funding is not a loan. If you don't win your case, no payment needs to be made back. To avoid confusion and simplify matters on, we'll use the word "loan" throughout this article.

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