Adoption is a great way to add to your family and provide love and stability for a child who needs a home. Adoption has many legal requirements and in many cases comes at the end of a long legal battle with biological parents. However it is accomplished, adoption will change forever the legal relationship between you and your adopted child. As with any biological children, you naturally want to provide a future and stability for your adopted child. It is important to understand how inheritance after adoption works, both with respect to how your child will inherit from you and also how your child could inherit from his or her biological parents.
After you complete an adoption, the law does not view your relationship between you and your adopted child as any different from the relationship you share with biological children. This means that you can leave any assets to your adopted children in the same way as you would with biological children. Moreover, if you die without a will, the Minnesota laws of intestate succession will allow your adopted child to inherit in the same manner in the same shares as your biological children.
Conversely, in order to adopt your child, you will first have to terminate the parental rights of the biological parents. This severs forever the legal relationship between your adopted child and the biological parents. In terms of inheritance, this means that your child will have no automatic legal right to inherit from the biological parents. This does not mean, however, that the biological parents are prevented from including your adopted child in their last will and testament. As with any other person, the biological parents can choose who to include in their will or trust. If the biological parents die intestate, Minnesota law does not provide for a method for the adopted child to receive a portion of the estate.
As with any other estate plan, the best way to make sure your adopted child inherits from you is to draft a last will and testament and make sure to keep it updated. Make sure that your loved ones know where to find your will after you pass to make sure your wishes are carried out.
We can help you make sure your estate plan is an accurate reflection of your goals. Call us at (320) 299-4249 for a consultation to talk about your case.