Can an Adopted Child Inherit from Biological Parents?
Explaining How Adoption Works with Inheritance
Adoption is far from a simple journey. Because of this, you may have some questions about how adoption works for adoptees like you. For instance, you may be curious about how adoption works when it comes to inheritance.
Can adoptees inherit from biological parents?
If so, then can they still inherit from their adoptive parents?
That’s what we’re here to answer for you.
Keep in mind that adoptee inheritance law can vary from state to state. So, it’s important to reach out to a reputable adoption attorney who understands your local adoption laws inside and out. They can help you answer any questions that you may have, such as, “Can an adopted child inherit from biological parents?”
In the meantime, though, we’ve put together this detailed guide that explains all you need to know about adoption and inheritance. Still, we should mention that we are not attorneys and this article is not intended to be taken as legal advice. With that being said, we hope that this article helps you develop a better understanding of the inheritance rights of an adopted child.
How Do the Inheritance Rights of an Adopted Child Work?
Adopted child inheritance law protects adoptees’ rights to their adoptive parents’ inheritance, just as there are laws that protect any child’s rights to their parents’ inheritance. In other words, there is legislation in place that protects the inheritance rights of an adopted child like you.
When it comes to a child’s legal ability to inherit, there is no difference between adoptees and biological children. They are all equal in the eyes of the law, so you won’t need to worry about any legal obstacles in the way of your inheritance.
Even if your adoptive parents die before making a will, you will still receive their inheritance because you’re their child. If such a need arises, then you can also contest or challenge your adoptive parents’ will.
Can an Adopted Child Inherit from Biological Parents? [Explaining Adoptees’ Inheritance]
As an adoptee, you may be wondering, “Can an adopted child inherit from biological parents?” This depends on your particular circumstances.
If you have researched your adoption, then you might know that birth parents’ rights are terminated once placement occurs. As a result of this, you don’t have any legal rights to their inheritance. Instead, these rights are transferred to your adoptive parents.
But, your birth parents can still choose to include any biological children as a beneficiary, such as you, in their will. In other words, as long as no one challenges your inclusion in this will, then you will receive your birth parents’ inheritance if they decide to list you.
Still, your birth parents will need to inform their estate manager about how to get in touch with you. Unlike the case with your adoptive parents, you will not receive your birth parents’ inheritance if they die before making a will or don’t include you as a beneficiary. The inheritance rights of an adopted child are automatic with adoptive parents; with birth parents, these rights are not automatic.
There is another component that we should clarify. Even if your birth parents list you as a beneficiary in their will, you may not be able to contest their wills. Although you share a legal connection with your adoptive parents, there is no legal connection between you and your birth parents.
Ultimately, your adoption inheritance will depend on your particular situation and the relationship that you have with your birth family. For the most part, though, working with a credible adoption attorney can make this process much simpler and clearer. They might be able to help you contest your birth parents’ will if you need to.
Protecting the Inheritance Rights of an Adopted Child
It’s common for birth parents and adoptive families alike to fret about your inheritance. If they have these concerns, then the best course of action they can take is to meet with a trusted adoption attorney.
When they meet, they can specify to the lawyer what they want you to inherit as their child. Throughout their lives, they can update this will on a regular basis. For instance, they will need to keep it up-to-date with your current contact information and other important details.
To protect the inheritance rights of an adopted child, you can remind your adoptive parents and birth parents to update this vital information. Although adoption is the focus of this article, this same mindset can apply to anyone who wants to guarantee that their children will receive their inheritance. In other words, your birth parents and adoptive family must maintain their will with clear instructions to get in contact with you about your inheritance.
Choosing an Adoption Attorney to Help Protect Your Adoption Inheritance
You may have noticed our suggestions to work with a trustworthy adoption attorney to ensure that you receive your inheritance as an adoptee. But, how do you or your parents choose an adoption attorney, exactly?
To help you with the process of protecting the inheritance rights of an adopted child, here are some questions that you can ask adoption attorneys:
- Are you a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys?
- When will you be available to talk over the phone or in-person?
- How knowledgeable are you when it comes to the inheritance rights of an adopted child?
- What is the adoption legal process like for inheritance?
- Do you have a list of families or adoptees waiting to work with you right now?
- How will you ensure that the birth parents’ and adoptive parents’ wishes are respected in the will?
- How can you guarantee that I will receive my inheritance as an adoptee?
These questions should serve as a solid starting point as you choose an adoption attorney to work with. As an adoptee, you should be able to receive your inheritance from your adoptive parents without any issues. If you’re wondering, “Can an adopted child inherit from biological parents?” then remember that it will always depend on your situation.
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