If someone is adopted as an adult, are they legally a “sibling”?

My brother passed away (no Will); he was not married and had no children. His siblings are his heirs. There were 3 of us born to the same mother and father (both mother and father now deceased). Our father remarried and had a stepdaughter, who he adopted when she was in her 30’s. Is this woman legally my brother’s “sister” as far as his estate is concerned?

Asked on July 3, 2012 under Estate Planning, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, when a person is adopted at whatever age (as a minor or as an adult) if the person who is adopting the person has his or her own chidren, the adopted person under the eyes of the law once the adoption is completed now has siblings.

The stepdaughter that you write about who was legally adopted is deemed your brother's sister under the law based upon the fact scenario that you have written about.


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