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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No:

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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