I look this up every time it comes up.  For once and for all, the beneficiaries under Texas’s Wrongful Death Statute are the surviving spouse, children, and parents of the deceased.    This includes adopted children and common law spouses, but does not include same-sex spouses (yet).  The class of plaintiffs also includes so-called “illegitimate” biological children.

Brothers, sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins do not have standing to bring a wrongful death action.

Also, the estate of the deceased does not have standing to bring a wrongful death claim.  The estate’s claims are covered by Texas’ Survival Statute.

The wrongful death plaintiffs can sue to recover the damages that they have incurred as a result of the death of the deceased.  These damages include pecuniary losses, mental anguish, loss of companionship, and loss of inheritance.  Surviving spouses and children can recover exemplary damages, but parents cannot recover exemplary damages in a wrongful death action.