Question:  I was adopted at a young age.  I was raised by wonderful adoptive parents.  Late in life, I reconnected with my biological mother.  All of my parents are elderly, and estate planning is being discussed.  Can I inherit from my adoptive parents?  By contrast, can inherit from my biological mother?

Answer:  Rights of an Adopted Child:  Thanks to a 1958 Massachusetts law, adopted children inherit equally with naturally born children.  This applies whether or not a Will is involved.

Rights of a Biological Child (later adopted by other parents):  Once adopted by other parents, the biological parents’ rights and obligations of parentage are generally severed.  This includes inheritance.  (Note: an exception applies for cases where the natural parent has treated the child as his or her own and not refused to support the child).

If your biological mother dies without a Will, you are likely not included in her inheritance.  Sure, she can choose to include you in her Will.  This would give you rights.  However, I recommend she uses a trust instead, cutting through the probate court’s red tape surrounding your adoption.

Priority Law, is the new Estate Planning Division of the Haroutunian Law Office.  Located at 790 Boston Road, Billerica, Attorney Haroutunian is available to answer your questions at 978-935-2000, www.prioritylaw.com, www.hlawoffice.com or by email at james@hlawoffice.com.

Question:  I was adopted at a young age.  I was raised by wonderful adoptive parents.  Late in life, I reconnected with my biological mother.  All of my parents are elderly, and estate planning is being discussed.  Can I inherit from my adoptive parents?  By contrast, can inherit from my biological mother?
Priority Law, is the new Estate Planning Division of the Haroutunian Law Office.  Located at 790 Boston Road, Billerica, Attorney Haroutunian is available to answer your questions at 978-935-2000, www.prioritylaw.com or by email at james@hlawoffice.com.

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