OK, this is going outside of my area here. I am not a lawyer, I just travel occasionally in litigation circles.
CONTACT A LAWYER, preferably the one who is handling the last will and transfer of estate. Handling crap like this is probably part of his or her mandate.
But most of all - STOP THE ALL-CONSUMING WORRY AND FRIGHT AND TERROR OF LAWYERS. THESE FAMILIES ARE GOING THROUGH ENOUGH, SO CUT IT OUT. Just hand the case over to an attorney to get rid of and worry about it in a year or two or whenever it comes back around.
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Now, this is just my opinion: It's likely that what the suing lawyers were trying to do is put pressure on the fathers' insurance companies by hassling the insured. If the insured goes ape on the insurance company for not settling, then it may get the insurance company to raise their number. They are trying to make their client as much money as they possibly can for the injuries sustained, the best way to do that is by suing the multi-billion dollar insurance industry, not the random family man.
Now, if the surviving wives don't want to pay the estate's lawyers to handle it, I simply recommend that the surviving wives tell the suing parties that the defendants are dead. I recommend this be done as informally as possible. A simple letter with a copy of the death certificate should be enough. Do not mention lawyers, do not mention estate, inheritance or marriage. Just say "I thought you should know that the defendant in *case number* died on *date*. Please find a copy of the death certificate and a published obituary in this envelope." It is likely that the attorneys for the plaintiff will drop the case against the men and just stick to the men's insurer.
But seriously, just give the bull-crap over to the lawyer and let them handle it. And one that's done, stop talking about it. It's doing nothing but causing more pain and anguish to the family.