Adopted Child Inheritance Law
The law makes it clear that an adopted child can inherit from and through the child’s natural parent or parents. Even in a situation where the parent child relationship is terminated, the child still has the right to inherit from or through the natural parent(s) unless a court prevents the child from inheriting. But since adoption records are sealed by law in Texas, it is difficult for adopted children to obtain the identity of their natural parents. That means they can only benefit from their inheritance rights if they can determine the identity of their birth parent or parents.
What If The Natural Parents Have Testamentary Wills?
Since adoptive or natural parents are not required to leave any property to their children, the child cannot claim a right to inheritance if the parent does not include them in their Will. All the assets and property in the Will can only go to the beneficiaries that have been listed in the Will. But if the natural parents or parent died without a Will, then the adoptive child has a right to inherit. So to avoid such a situation, you need to talk to an experienced estate planning lawyer to help you.
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When There Is No Will
If a person dies without a Will, their children will inherit the “intestate” share of the estate. That means that the decedent’s property will be divided according to state laws. The probate court will appoint an administrator whose duties will include compiling any assets of the deceased, and identifying all the legal heirs of the deceased. Legal heirs include surviving spouses, children, parents, and even siblings.
Disputes arise when a biological child that was adopted by another family shows up. Since every child has the right to inherit from biological parents, the child that was adopted by another family will also be added to the list of beneficiaries by the administrator. However, the child will have to prove that they are indeed the biological child of the deceased. Most adopted children hire experienced probate lawyers to help them file documents that establish their inheritance rights.
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Drafting A Will In Texas
Drafting a Will is all about protecting your family and your property. You can also use a Will to leave property to people or organizations, or name a guardian to take care of your children. The following are some of the requirements for making a formal attested Will:
- The Will must be in writing
- You must name an executor to manage your estate in the Will
- You must sign your Will in front of two witnesses
- Two witnesses must sign your Will in front of you
Formal attested Wills are usually typed and often have a self-proving affidavit attached. A self-proving affidavit makes it easier to prove a Will. Without the self-proving affidavit the witnesses that signed and saw the testator signing the Will have to personally appear in court and testify. The two witnesses that sign the Will should not be beneficiaries of the Will.
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