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MsBishop

Birth father died.....Is the adopted adult child next of kin?

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My friend's brother died without a will. He had only one child and no wife. The one child he had was adopted as a baby. Does the now adult adopted child have rights to his birth father's estate? What steps should my friend take?

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10 hours ago, MsBishop said:

My friend's brother died without a will. He had only one child and no wife. The one child he had was adopted as a baby. Does the now adult adopted child have rights to his birth father's estate? What steps should my friend take?

 

Your friend can open probate under intestacy and ask the court to appoint him representative of the estate. He will have the responsibility of administering the estate for the rightful heir. Your friend might be entitled to fees for his work but will first have to incur the cost of administering the estate though he will inherit none of it.

 

Or, he can allow the adult child to open probate and handle the father's estate on his own.

 

CA has a very good self-help Probate page:

 

http://www.courts.ca.gov/8865.htm

 

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13 hours ago, MsBishop said:

He had only one child and no wife. The one child he had was adopted as a baby.

Do you mean his biological child was adopted by someone else?  If that's the case, the child cannot inherit absent being specifically named in the will.  If it's HIS adopted child, then they inherit the same as a natural child.

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13 hours ago, MsBishop said:

My friend's brother died without a will. He had only one child and no wife. The one child he had was adopted as a baby.

 

These sentences have two different interpretations:  (1) your friend's brother is not the child's biological father; rather, your friend's brother adopted the child; (2) your friend's brother is the child's biological father and someone else adopted the child.  I assume that the intended interpretation is #1, but I'd rather not assume.

 

 

13 hours ago, MsBishop said:

Does the now adult adopted child have rights to his birth father's estate?

 

If my assumption stated above is correct, then the answer is yes.  If, instead, interpretation #2 is correct, then the answer is no.

 

 

13 hours ago, MsBishop said:

What steps should my friend take?

 

What steps should your friend take for what purpose?

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My friend's brother is the biological father. Someone else adopted his biological son. It seems that there is a lawyer representing the son and he is trying to get him named as the next of kin so that the entire estate will go to him. Is this really possible?

 

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Prob. Code § 6451

An adoption severs the relationship of parent and child between an adopted person and a birth parent of the adopted person unless both of the following requirements are satisfied:

  • The birth parent and the adopted person lived together at any time as parent and child, or the birth parent was married to or cohabiting with the other birth parent at the time the person was conceived and died before the person's birth.
  • The adoption was by the spouse of either of the birth parents or after the death of either of the birth parents.

Neither a birth parent nor a relative of a birth parent, except for a whole-blood brother or sister of the adopted person or the issue of that brother or sister, inherits from or through the adopted person on the basis of a parent and child relationship between the adopted person and the birth parent that satisfies the requirements listed above, unless the adoption is by the spouse or surviving spouse of that parent.

A prior adoptive parent and child relationship is treated as a birth parent and child relationship.

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On 2/19/2017 at 0:10 AM, MsBishop said:

My friend's brother is the biological father. Someone else adopted his biological son. It seems that there is a lawyer representing the son and he is trying to get him named as the next of kin so that the entire estate will go to him. Is this really possible?

 

"Named as the next of kin" is a term without any clear legal meaning.  However, if the child was adopted by someone else, he has no right to inherit from your friend's brother's estate.  Your friend should consult with a local probate attorney about how best to handle the situation.

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