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Can you disinherit an adopted child?

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2023 | Estate Planning

When it comes to family matters and inheritance, people often wonder about the rights of adopted children. The Child Welfare Information Gateway states that around 135,000 kids get adopted in the United States every year.

However, not all adoptions turn out well, leading some parents to ask themselves if they can take away an adopted child’s inheritance.

Understanding inheritance rights for adopted children

In general, adopted kids usually have the same rights to get inheritance as biological kids. The law usually sees adopted kids as the rightful heirs of their adoptive parents, giving them similar inheritance rights. However, there might be times when parents think about not leaving an inheritance to their adopted child.

Legal grounds for not leaving an inheritance

Deciding not to leave an inheritance is a complex matter that needs careful thought. Parents can legally choose not to leave anything to a child, whether adopted or biological, under certain conditions. Common reasons include having a strained relationship, money problems or wanting to share assets differently. It is important to know that the rules for not leaving an inheritance can be different depending on where you live.

Challenges and things to think about

Even though it is legally possible to not leave an inheritance to a child, it is not always simple. Courts often look closely at such decisions, especially when it comes to adopted kids. Some places have extra rules or protections to make sure things are fair and to stop unfair decisions about not leaving an inheritance. Courts might look at what the adopted child needs, the reasons for not leaving an inheritance and how it could affect the child.

So, in the end, it is your choice whether or not to leave an inheritance for both adopted and biological children. However, the step to exclude a child from inheriting your assets is not an easy process and needs careful thought about the legal side and possible challenges.