Am I entitled to my father’s possessions if his parental right were taken away when I was 5?

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Am I entitled to my father’s possessions if his parental right were taken away when I was 5?

When I was 5 years old, my mom’s parents fought to take me from my father. They won and raised me until I was 16. I always kept in touch with my father and moved in with him when I was 17 and lived with him for 5 years. He recently passed away without a Will. Am I entitled to his property? His mom, my grandma, said that I have no right to anything because he was no longer my legal father since he had his parental rights taken when I was 5.

Asked on June 13, 2017 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

IF his parental rights were entirely taken away, severing the legal relationship between you the same way and to the same extent as if had to put you up for adoption, then you were not his son anymore in the eyes of the law and would not inherit from him (unless he put you in a valid will) when he passed away. If he only lost custody of you, but did not have the parental relationship severed, you would still inherit. You need to see *exactly* what happened; review the court paperwork--if your grandparents don't have it, you should be able to get it through the family court in the county where you'd lived at the time.


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