Can a child that was never legally adopted but raised entire life by non-biological parent recieve inheritance?

My mother was never legally adaopted by my
grandparents, but was raised and cares for her
whole life by them. Took care of and been with them
up until their deaths a few years ago. The only other
child they had was my uncle, and he passed away
back in the 80’s. But his kids, that were never really
involved with my grandmother or anything is coming
in and trying to get money from a ‘asset recovery’
company that recently came forth with money that
was found and owed to my grandparents estate. My
mother had power of attorney over my Grandfathers
affairs before he passed in 2011 grandmother
passed in 2005..

Asked on March 11, 2017 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are not a biological child and were not legally adopted, then in the eyes of the law, you were not their child and have no legal right to an inheritance unless it was willed to you (a person can leave money to anyone, child or not, they choose with a will)--and so if there was no will, your mother would not be entitled to an inheritance. A power of attorney is irrelevant: POAs cease when the person granting it passes away, and have no bearing on what happens to their property and assets after death. The depth or degree of the relationship is also irrelevant; an estranged biological grandchild has rights to an inheritance, while a loving person rasied by someone but neve adopted does not.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are not a biological child and were not legally adopted, then in the eyes of the law, you were not their child and have no legal right to an inheritance unless it was willed to you (a person can leave money to anyone, child or not, they choose with a will)--and so if there was no will, your mother would not be entitled to an inheritance. A power of attorney is irrelevant: POAs cease when the person granting it passes away, and have no bearing on what happens to their property and assets after death. The depth or degree of the relationship is also irrelevant; an estranged biological grandchild has rights to an inheritance, while a loving person rasied by someone but neve adopted does not.


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