Can a child about to be adopted claim part of their prospective parent’s estate if they weren’t named or the adoption completed?

Asked on April 4, 2014 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor


1) If there were not in fact adopted, they would not legally be a child and would have no standing to inherit under intestate succession (the rules for who inherits when there is no will).

2)  If there was a will, only those named in the will will inherit; anyone not named in the will, child or not, has no right to inherit. And if not formally adopted, if the will says anything like "to my children," the almost-but-not-quite adopter person would not qualify.

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