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What Inheritance Rights Do Adopted Children Have?

Adopted children typically have the same legal rights to inherit from their adopted parents as biological children of the same parents. In an adoption, children’s legal relationship with their biological parents are officially severed, meaning, among other things, that they now have inheritance rights with their adoptive parents, but not their birth parents.

These inheritance rights include the following:

  • The right to receive property in intestate succession: If the child’s adopted parent dies without a will, the adopted children, just like biological children, have the right to receive property. In this scenario, the court takes charge of distributing property and includes adopted children in the process.
  • The right to receive property if accidentally left out of a will: There are laws in every state that protect children in the event they get accidentally left out of a will. In some cases, an adoptive parent might not have updated his or her will since the adoption took place. Adopted children would still be entitled to a certain portion of the estate in this situation.
  • The right to be included in general references to “my children” in the will: People commonly refer broadly to their children in their estate plans. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, adopted children have the right to be included in these broad statements.

Adoptive parents do have the right to disinherit an adopted child from their will, but this intention must be explicitly stated. Parents may also disinherit their biological children using the same process.

To learn more about inheritance rights and adoption, speak with a skilled Florida estate planning lawyer at The Charles Law Offices.

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