A Probate Lawyer Can Help Adopted Children With Inheritance Rights
Our earthly possessions are left behind when we die, but one individual, a family member or friend, will deal with the situation with the help of a probate lawyer. A probate lawyer or estate attorney is a legal practitioner who helps non-lawyer clients fulfill their mandate as executors, administrators, or personal representatives of estates. The practitioner helps the individuals go through the probate process successfully. The probate process involves paying off any personal debts of the deceased and distributing assets of the estate as per the will or state law. A probate lawyer has a wide range of duties depending on whether the deceased left a will or not and their family matrix. The most common question every probate lawyer must answer with clarity is whether adopted children have inheritance rights.
Does an Adopted Child Have Inheritance Rights?
The probate process starts immediately after you lose a loved one, and on some occasions, it is arduous, long, and stressful. It is difficult to navigate alone, especially when legal questions about adoption and inheritance arise. Find an experienced and knowledgeable probate attorney because the adoptee has the same legal rights as the biological children under adopted child inheritance law. Regarding the legal ability to inherit, there is no difference between an adopted child and a biological child. They are equals and should share the inheritance, even if the parents did not have a will.
Inheritance Rights of Adopted Children – Will Available
Many people are adopting the culture of writing a will indicating how their property and wealth will be distributed. In many instances, the deceased’s will states that certain property should be divided equally among his children. At that point, the phrase “my children” refers to biological and adopted ones. The probate lawyer will validate the will and oversee the process of ensuring every child gets a fair and equal share. However, a will can be specific, directing that the wealth should be divided amongst a list of names, including children and friends. If the adopted child is left off the list, the state law includes them intentionally.
Every state in America has independent laws to protect children from being omitted from the will. These laws apply to all children, whether biological or adopted. If a child is unintentionally excluded from a will, a judge has the right to give them a piece of the property. This law protects the adoptees since some individuals may forget that adopted children are entitled to an inheritance like natural children. It is important to keep updating your will, especially after significant events in life, such as adoption, to leave no room for doubt or court adjudication.
Inheritance Rights of Adopted Children – No Will
If you accidentally die without a will or estate plan, the probate court will take charge of your property and follow the intestacy laws to distribute it to your relatives. The intestacy laws set out a hierarchy that gives spouses and children the top priority and the rest of the relatives, depending on how related they are to the deceased. The adopted children are covered at the top because they are children of the deceased parent. The intestacy laws ensure a smooth distribution of wealth with no room for disputes in the family.
Can an Adopted Child Inherit From Biological Parents?
If you are an adoptee, a question may arise about whether you remain an heir to the property of your biological parents. Once a child has undergone a legal adoption process, the birth parent’s rights are terminated immediately upon placement. This means that an adoptee has no legal right to inherit the property of their biological parents. The parent’s rights are in the hands of the adoptive parents. Your biological parents may choose to include your name in the will as a beneficiary of their estate. However, this will only succeed if no one challenges your inclusion. The biological parent will leave clear instructions on how the estate manager will find you.
If your biological parent dies without a will, you do not receive any share since your inheritance rights are with the adoptive parents. If your biological parent fails to include you in the will, you cannot challenge it in court. As an adopted child, your inheritance from your biological parents will depend on various circumstances and your relationship. If you choose a credible probate attorney, this process will run with less friction from any party.
How to Protect the Inheritance Rights of an Adopted Child
As an adopted child, it is common to find your adoptive parents and birth parents fretting about your inheritance. If such concerns arise, it is essential to meet with a qualified, experienced, and trusted adoption attorney to iron out issues regarding inheritance. Your biological parents should tell the attorney what they would like their child to inherit and keep updating it. The same mindset applies to your adoptive parents to protect you and your inheritance once they are dead. Protecting inheritance rights means having your biological and adoptive parents provide clear instructions about your inheritance in the will.
Adoptive parents should not assume that their adopted child has automatic inheritance rights to their property. They should learn the difference between step-parenting, foster care, guardianship in Las Vegas, and adoption. It is common for foster or stepparents who raise children as their own to make no legal point of following up on the inheritance rights of these children. Step or foster children do not have the same inheritance rights as biological children. Parents need to find an attorney and take extra caution when reviewing their estate planning options.
Finding a Probate Attorney in Las Vegas
Everyone should have a written will or estate plan to avoid confusion during probate. When selecting a probate lawyer in Las Vegas, it is important to go for a seasoned and knowledgeable attorney from an equipped law firm to handle the legal matter. Las Vegas probate specialists are well versed in Nevada state laws and will make the process less taxing.
It isn’t easy to lose a loved one, and even more challenging when undergoing the probate process. If you do not find a caring and concerned probate attorney, the process may drag on for years and end up causing a rift between family members and relatives. If you live in Las Vegas, look for attorneys who will stand with your family and show empathy during the grieving period. They will handle the matters, providing wise counsel to ensure the family does not part ways while fighting for an inheritance.
The attorneys prepare you to make important decisions and oversee the probate resolution process from the beginning to the end. The probate process can be expensive, time-consuming, and emotional if the deceased did not leave a will, or if the will is too complicated to interpret. Rely on experienced probate lawyers to wade through and find the most neutral ground for the children’s inheritance.