Does a stepchild have legal right to a stepparent’s property if they are not in the Will?

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Does a stepchild have legal right to a stepparent’s property if they are not in the Will?

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Children, even biological, do not have automatic rights of inheritance. So if they are not named as a benficiary of a Will they do not inherit.

Furhter, if someone does without a Will they are said to have died "intestate". Accordingly, the intestacy laws of the state in which the deceased was domiciled as of their dearth will control. Typically in such a case, an estate is distributed between a surviving spouse and the deceased "children". However in the context of a probate, children are those who are biological or adopted; stepchildren due not qualify as legal heirs.


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