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Adopted person and inheritance within birth family

(30 Posts)
TheAssassinsGuild Thu 04-Jun-15 13:58:37


I'd be really grateful if someone could give me some advice concerning the legal situation regarding an adopted person and inheritance within the birth family.

The deceased within the birth family has died intestate (as far as we are aware - we are finalising those investigations). What claim would an adopted individual have on that estate? Were the adoption not to have taken place, the rules governing inheritance where there is no will mean that this person would clearly have a claim.

Thank you!

(I'm not asking for the moral or ethical dimension!)

VanitasVanitatum Thu 04-Jun-15 13:59:52

The adopted person would I believe have no claim, as their claim would now be to their adopted parents estate.

Adoption severs all family ties to the birth family.

VanitasVanitatum Thu 04-Jun-15 14:00:41

If they were dependant on the birth family member leading up to the death they might have a claim as a simple dependant rather than a family member.

TheAssassinsGuild Thu 04-Jun-15 14:02:48

Gosh that was quick! Thank you!

That makes sense. Legally, this person's family is the adoptive family, not the birth family.

No, the adopted person had no dependence, financial or otherwise, on anyone within the birth family.

Thank you smile

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Thu 04-Jun-15 14:03:15

Good question...

Maybe worth posting over in the adoption board in case anyone has experience

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Thu 04-Jun-15 14:03:57

Oh, if it's the adoptive family then the adopted child had the same rights as a birth child

TheAssassinsGuild Thu 04-Jun-15 14:06:18

It's not a death in the adoptive family. It's a death in the birth family and the question is whether the person has a claim on the birth family estate.

fluffywhitekittens Thu 04-Jun-15 14:11:14

TheAssassinsGuild Thu 04-Jun-15 14:15:00

Thank you fluffy.

worridmum Thu 04-Jun-15 18:35:16

Sadly the adoptive child loses all rights to their bioligcal parents esates as this right has been transfered to their adpotive parents.

Atleast according to this

And i think its right if I rember my case law correctly I would attempt to post the actual act that website is quoting but need to find it first

LotusLight Thu 04-Jun-15 19:59:57

Basically the law moves the child entirely from the birth family to as it it were the natural child of the adoptive parents. So no inheritance from original birth family (unless of course the will leaves money to the child who was later adopted just as it might leave money to a neighbour or the cat's home). So if you've rich relatives you are better off fostered than adopted.

cdtaylornats Fri 05-Jun-15 17:52:31

There was a case on Heir Hunters where an adopted out child reconnected with their birth mother and had been living with her for several years. The mother died intestate but the Treasury Solicitor decided the adopted son had a claim in that case. He was the only descendant available though.

VanitasVanitatum Fri 05-Jun-15 18:01:07

cd he was probably eligible as a dependent, there's a statutory route to claim from an estate if you have been living with someone and financially dependent on them in some way, whether or not you are related.

Kewcumber Fri 05-Jun-15 18:04:29

Why sadly?! adoption breaks the legal link with the birth family and creates an equal legal link to the adoptive family - no "sad" about it, just the way it is.

If birth parents want to leave something to children who were adopted then they can name them in the will if they choose.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 05-Jun-15 18:11:25


It's sad when you're the adopted person and your birth family are loaded. grin
Sorry for the flippancy but this is my case. They have properties and land in a posh part of Cheshire.
They can keep it though as they aren't nice people anyway. I really wouldn't accept it.
I do sympathise with others though as you could have had an awful upbringing even by your adoptive parents and the money could be some small compensation from feeling rejected all your life.
This bit isn't me fortunately, had fantastic parents.

gunnsgirl Fri 05-Jun-15 18:16:21

Personal experience of this. Once adopted you lose all rights to anything of your birth parents estate or goods unless written in a will.

I would have loved my mother's few bits of jewellery but unfortunately I was not deemed next of kin and such went to a son of a second cousin who was about 7 and didn't live in UK. Sad about that, but my adoptive parents were wonderful.

LotusLight Sat 06-Jun-15 09:05:31

Okay sad was emotive. I just meant they lose the inheritance but obviously that makes sense because they have moved in law from one family to the next. Most adopted children are not from rich homes, presumably so it won't often apply.

Noeuf Sat 06-Jun-15 09:25:19

Dd is adopted. She is in exactly the same position as our other biological children. Maintenance, inheritance etx.
PR removed from birth family, inheritance rights no longer apply etc.

TheAssassinsGuild Sat 06-Jun-15 11:05:19

Thanks for clarifying everyone. Hope it hasn't been upsetting for anyone. Pleased I didn't post in Adoption....

morethanpotatoprints Sat 06-Jun-15 13:09:54


Obviously I don't know the circumstances or the relationship between the deceased and the adopted person, but would like to add that if the adopted person has had no contact with the deceased etc it would be a lovely gesture to give the adopted person a photograph or some other small token.
My bm family didn't even send me a photo or tell me she had died. sad
You may be different circs though, in which case ignore me.

TheAssassinsGuild Sat 06-Jun-15 15:34:31

This is a very distant relative so not really relevant.

When the birth mother died though, I made sure the adopted daughter got a piece of her jewellery and some other personal items.

morethanpotatoprints Sat 06-Jun-15 22:40:06


Aww, you are truly wonderful thanks

TheAssassinsGuild Sat 06-Jun-15 23:13:38

Morethan - I didn't say how sorry I was that you had been treated like that. sad. Have a hug XXX
The daughter has photos of her. And we in touch - if she ever wants anything, as far as I am concerned she only has to ask.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 07-Jun-15 19:32:57

Oh bless you, I wish they were all like you. x

BreadmakerFan Sun 07-Jun-15 19:35:29

An adopted person has the same right as a biological child.

How big of you to allow the daughter tonnage something rightfully hershmm

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