Do non-biological adult children from a marriage have any rights over an estate?

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Do non-biological adult children from a marriage have any rights over an estate?

married a lady who had 2 adult children. She passed away less than 4 years of marriage. Her belongings were given to her kids as stated in her Will. Currently there are no issues with this. I am preparing my own will now and am questioning if I need to list them as living children of mine if I do not wish to pass anything on to them. Do they have an legal rights to my estate? I am also moving on with life and making a life with a new lady that has 2 adult children. Not that she has anything against the kids from my first marriage but, she worries that if something happens to me that the children from the first marriage could take claim of her belongings on my property.

Asked on March 26, 2016 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Her children by a different father are not entitled to any of your estate unless you 1) adopted them (being a step-father does not count for this purpose; only actual adoption) or 2) named them in your will. Otherwise, no matter the closeness or nature of your relationship with her, they are not entitled to your estate; step-children are not legally children for this purpose.


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