Families who have adopted children and grandchildren face certain troubles when planning their estates. In some cases, they may need to meet with an estate owner and plan out any changes to reflect their interests to include such a child as a beneficiary. In some cases, such families may have to speak to a Leadville family law attorney in order to get a better insight as to how to handle such cases as this.

If the said child is already not a legal member of the family, their illegality may also affect how the inheritance is planned.

Equals in the Estate

If a child has been adopted legally by the estate owner, then, he or she is entitled to the same level of treatment and rights as with other birth children in a standard real estate planning situation. With a legal adoption in place, such a person is considered as being equal to other birth children making them entitled to as much as others under the state’s law for succession and inheritance circumstances. With a legally binding document in place showing that such a person was legally adopted, he or she is entitled to the same properties and assets as with the other biological children. If there is a will in place, such an adopted child will most likely receive the same treatment as with others in the family. As with wills, trusts usually work the same way as well as other entities such as gifts or distributions made to a class rather than to a specific person. If adoption occurs after the execution of a will or trust, such a legally adopted person will also benefit from such sharing.

Not Legally Adopted

If a person or child has not been legally adopted to be a member of the family, then he or she cannot be treated equally as with the biological children and adopted children. Instead, such a person will be entitled to fewer parts of the estate and not enjoy the perks of a family member. This can be the case for stepchildren or other children who have been accommodated but have not been legally registered as an adopted child or children in the family. If an estate owner wishes to include stepchildren or other youths in the family in their will, such a person will be required to make a special provision for such individuals in their will or in the absence of this, they will be required to have adopted the youth before their demise. If the estate owner had failed to do any of the two, that is, either legally adopts the child or make special provisions in their will, such youth or child will be entitled to nothing, except in rare cases where special arrangements have been made with the estate concerning the matter.

Biological Changes with An Adoption

Estate Planning

When planning on adopting a child into a family, there is a need to consider the full extent of the decision to be made. While it is important to consider estate planning for inheritance purposes, it is also recommended that such an adopter considers inheritance with their biological family. Reason being that, when a person adopts a child, such a child would be legally cut from their biological right to estate planning and inheritance from their birth family. In the event a child has been adopted legally into another family, such a child can no longer inherit by default from their biological mother and father as they have severed ties with them as part of the adoption process. This same law applies to stepchildren in the family as once they have been adopted into a new family; they lose their right to estate planning and inheritance from their birth families.

Second-Parent Adoptions

In some cases, some adopted children may remain eligible for estate planning and inheritance from their biological families. In such cases as this, there would have been a special circumstance indicated in the adoption document which allows the new family to act as a second-parent to such an individual. If the option of the second parent is pursued, then, this may serve as the needed legal bypass which allows the child to enjoy the best of both worlds, whether from their birth families or the new family they have been adopted into.

The arrangement of a second-parent which provides a bypass to the termination of parental rights can be agreed upon by partners who are not in a marriage. This allows the other partners to adopt such a child while ensuring that such a child remains eligible for the parental rights of both their biological parents. The major consideration in this case, however, is that such a child is not permitted legal access to the second parent’s estate planning and inheritance, except in cases where additional paperwork has been conducted stating such an individual as a beneficiary of the estate planning and inheritance.

Unmarried Couples

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Estate planning is an essential part of a person’s relationship with another, especially when they are not married. When someone adopts a child but such a person isn’t married to the other parent, then, such a person must follow certain rules as set by the state. The state requires paternal establishment, failure of which the father may not be legally allowed to pass down certain parts of their assets to the child. For unmarried parents, custody also becomes an issue. If the person that is considered a nonparent chooses to make the child a beneficiary of their estate planning and will, such a person will need to explore other options apart from their will or last testament.

Specific Wishes

In some cases, the owner of the estate may need to consider spelling out their special wishes in their will or last testament. Spelling out these wishes caters to how adopted and non-adopted family members are treated, and what is apportioned to whom. When such a process as this is embarked upon, it may lead to a different outcome in the sense that the hired lawyer will be able to work them through the paperwork that is much different from the standard wills.

With the estate owner spelling out their specific wishes, it allows for a more flexible attempt to communicate specific sharing policies down to the details.