Does an adult child have any right to any of their parent’s estate?

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Does an adult child have any right to any of their parent’s estate?

My 45 year old son’s father died unexpectedly last year. My son is the only biologiical child his father had. The current wife presented a Will giving the entire estate to her. She has adult children from a previous marriage but she and my son’s father have no children. Does my son have any right to any of his father’s estate?

Asked on October 9, 2011 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If there is a validWill and your children are not listed as beneficiaries, then they have no right to any of their father's estate. Children can be disinherited; they do not have an automatic right to inherit from a parent. That having been said, in some states the Will must contain certain specific language in order to disinherit a child.

Accordingly, as her husband's sole beneficiary, his wife will receive all assets that are passed in his Will. Any assets not part of the probate estate, such as life insurance proceeds, will pass to the named beneficiary. Additionally, jointly held property with rights of suvivorship, will pass to the other joint owner(s)


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