Many children raised by foster parents, adopted or otherwise raised by somebody other than their biological parents have questions regarding their right to inherit from these loved ones. If you are in this situation, let us review your individual circumstances and help you understand your options. Each case is different, so it is important to let us help. The California Probate Code treats foster children similarly to stepchildren. Thus, in certain limited circumstances, a foster child may have legal rights to the estate of a foster parent. Examples of such circumstances include:
- The foster child and parent had a long-term relationship
- The foster parent attempted to legally adopt the foster child
- The foster parents relationship with the foster child began when the child was young
- The will or trust of the foster parent includes specific provisions for the foster child
A child that has been legally adopted is treated the same as a biological child of the adoptive parents for the purposes of determining intestate succession under California law. In most cases, a child that has been legally adopted is no longer entitled to inherit from their biological parents.
It should also be noted that California recognizes “equitable adoption,” which is a legal process to establish rights for a child. Typically it results from a prospective adoptive parent entering into an oral contract by expressing their intention to adopt the child. In most cases, the deceased raised the minor child for many years and made it clear that they wanted to adopt the child.
If you have questions regarding your ability to claim all or a portion of a non-biological parent’s estate, call us for help. We have helped numerous people in your situation. Just call to schedule your no-cost consultation: (714) 963-7543. At The Legacy Lawyers we are dedicated to your peace of mind.