State laws establish the rights that intestate heirs have when their relatives or spouses die without first creating a Will or without creating a valid Will. Adopted children and adoptive parents may be subject to special state statutes since there are no biological blood relations between them. Typically, state statutes establish an order of priority or succession of an intestate decedent’s heirs. An intestate decedent is one who died without first creating a Will or without creating a valid Will. An example of a Will created invalidly created is one signed without the presence of any witnesses.
In most states, a Will that does not conform to the state probate laws governing testamentary instruments fails as a valid instrument that can govern a decedent’s rights to bequeath property through his or her Will. If a court rejects a Will as invalid, the decedent is subject to his or her state’s order of succession or intestacy laws. This three-part blog series explains the inheritance rights that you have as adoptees or as parents of adopted children. It does not cover the legal inheritance rights that adopted children of same-sex or opposite-sex unmarried partners may have. An adopted child in this scenario may be the biological child of one domestic partner but an adopted child of the other. Furthermore, it will not cover the legal rights that unmarried same-sex or opposite-sex unmarried parents have to inherit from their biological or adoptive children.