Can an adopted child be deleted from parent’s will. The child in question is an adult.

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Can an adopted child be deleted from parent’s will. The child in question is an adult.

Asked on May 29, 2009 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

 

As far as I am able to tell, under Texas law an adopted child is treated the same as a biological child.  That being the case, you can disinherit family members, including children.

To be sure that your intent to disinherit an heir is unequivocal, you should consider including a disinheritance clause in your will.  The clause acknowledges the relationship and leaves a very small bequest to the disinherited person, such as an amount of $10.00.  This way, in the event the child wishes to contest the will, the bequest is evidence that you did not merely forget them.  Under no circumstances should your will include references at to why you wish to disinherit the person.  Sometimes there are very emotional reasons for doing this, but putting this information in your will, which becomes a public document, can lead to lawsuits against your estate for testamentary libel.

In this case especially, you really should consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning

 

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Probably, if it's done the right way.  In the eyes of the law, an adopted child is not the least bit different from a natural child.

In most states, you would need to either write a new will, or a codicil which is a document that changes an existing will and which has to be signed and witnessed in the same way as a complete will.  Crossing out the name wouldn't do it;  if anything, that might make the whole will invalid.

Laws on this subject vary somewhat, from one state to the next. To make sure your wishes are properly recorded, please take your existing will to a qualfied lawyer in your area.  One place to look for an attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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