Game of controlSomeone can be involved in a lawsuit when they pass away.  For example, assume two people have a business deal and things sour – so one person sues another.  Further assume the person who brought the lawsuit (plaintiff) dies.  How does the plaintiff continue the lawsuit?  Technically, the plaintiff’s estate inherits his interest in the lawsuit.  The estate must inform the Court within 90 days with a notice of death and a copy of the death certificate while also naming a successor to be appointed.  Failure to do so may cause the lawsuit to be dismissed.

Under these circumstances, the plaintiff can file for probate in the proper Court (which may or may not be the same , and ask the Judge to appoint a temporary administrator.  This person may then step into the shoes of the deceased and continue the lawsuit in which the deceased is a plaintiff until the probate Court officially hears the probate case and appoints a permanent executor or administrator. 

Colin Smith
North Texas Estate Planning & Probate Attorney