Can an adopted daughter sue her biological brothers to receive a portion of her biological mother’s estate?

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Can an adopted daughter sue her biological brothers to receive a portion of her biological mother’s estate?

She was legally adopted by her biological uncle and only met her biological

mother a few times, as well as to her biological brothers.

Asked on June 12, 2018 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, if the estate has already been "settled" or gone all the way through probate and been distributed, it's too late for anyone to take any action: claims must be put in before probate ends.
Second, and more importantly, when a child is legally adopted, the parental ties to the biological parents are cut off and she becomes legally the child of the adopted parent(s). As a result, she--not being in the law's eyes a child of the biological parent(s) any more, has no right to inherit from them unless there was a will which by its plain terms left her something. (For example, a will stating that something was left to the child put up for adopotion, or to "all issue of my body"--i.e. any biological children regardless of parental/adoption status.)


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