Navigating the complex world of inheritance law can be challenging, especially when it involves sensitive issues such as adoption.
The question, “Can an adopted child inherit from biological parents in Georgia?” is one that often comes up. But the answer is pretty straightforward: no, if you’ve been adopted, you cannot inherit from your biological parents.
The only way this can happen is if your biological parents specifically include you by name and designation in their will to inherit something from them.
Otherwise, an adopted child can no longer inherit from their biological parents.
Let’s delve more into this topic to see why.
Adoption Means All Ties Are Severed with Biological Parents in Georgia
In Georgia, the moment a child is legally adopted, all parental rights and responsibilities of the biological parents are terminated.
This means that the adopted child becomes a legal member of their adoptive family and ceases to be a part of their biological family in the eyes of the law.
Consequently, they lose any rights to inherit from their biological parents under intestacy laws (laws that govern inheritance when there is no valid will).
Adopted Child has No Right to Property of Biological Father
Continuing from the previous point, because the legal ties are severed with the biological parents, an adopted child does not have a right to the property of their biological father or mother.
Their right to inherit is now tied to their adoptive family. This rule applies even if the biological parent dies without a will, leaving their estate to be distributed according to Georgia’s intestacy laws.
Can an Adopted Child Claim Inheritance from Biological Parents?
While the general rule is that an adopted child cannot claim inheritance from their biological parents, there are exceptions.
One such exception is if the biological parent specifically names the adopted child in their will. In such a case, the adopted child could potentially inherit from their biological parent.
However, this would need to be explicitly stated in the will, highlighting the importance of clear and precise estate planning.
Can an Adopted Child Inherit from Grandparents?
The same principles apply when considering whether an adopted child can inherit from their biological grandparents.
Once the adoption is finalized, the child loses all legal connections to their biological family, including grandparents.
However, if the grandparents specifically name the adopted child in their will, the child could potentially inherit.
The adopted child will be able to inherit from their adoptive grandparents, just like they now are able to inherit from their adoptive parents.
Can an Adopted Child Contest a Will?
An adopted child can contest a will, just like any other person who feels they have been unjustly excluded.
However, their status as an adopted child does not give them any special rights in this regard. They would need to prove that the will was invalid due to reasons such as undue influence, fraud, or lack of testamentary capacity.
While the general rule in Georgia is that an adopted child cannot inherit from their biological parents, there are a few exceptions.
If you are dealing with such a situation, it is advisable to consult with an experienced estate or probate law attorney to understand your rights and options better.