If I’m adopted and my biolagical mother just passed away, do I have a claim to her estate?

We were close the last 10 years of her life but I was adopted out legally to a diffrent family.

Asked on February 17, 2016 under Estate Planning, Iowa


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your mother.
If she left a Will, the provisions of the Will are controlling in determining inheritance.  If you were omitted from the Will, you can contest the Will.
If your mother did not leave a Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.
Under intestate succession, if your mother had a surviving spouse, he inherits her entire estate.  Her children do not inherit anything.
If there wasn't a surviving spouse, your mother's estate is divided equally among her children.  Therefore, you would have a claim to a portion of her estate.  For example, if there are three surviving children including yourself, you would receive 1/3.  If there are any deceased children who had children (your mother's grandchildren), they would inherit the share their deceased parent would have inherited had their deceased parent survived.
For example, if your mother had four children and one is deceased who had children, you and your surviving siblings each receive 1/4 and the children of the deceased sibling receive 1/4 (the share their deceased parent would have received had their deceased parent survived).

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