If my husband had a child from a previous marriage but lost all parental rights and the child was adopted by his ex-wife’s new husband, does this child have any rights to our estate?

This child has contacted him after 40 years.

Asked on October 13, 2015 under Estate Planning, Michigan


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The parental rights/responsibilites of birth parents are terminated when a child is adopted. Adoption does not, however, necessarily cut the right of the adopted child to inherit from their birth parents if the parents die "intestate" without a Will. It all depends on the state in question some allow adopted children to inherit from their birth parents while others do not. The best thing to do is for a birth parent to execute a Will in which they disinherit such a child additionally having a Will is advisable for other reasons as well.
At this point, your husband should consult with an attorney who specializes in probate matters. They can best advise as to specific state law.

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