As the final blog in the three-part series covering the rights that adopted children have to inherit from their adoptive parents, we will cover the specific intestacy laws governing the order of succession between family members of adopted children. An adopted child typically receives an equal share of his parent’s intestate estate as his or her other siblings. To further elaborate, we will consider a hypothetical scenario in which a parent of an adopted child dies intestate or without a Will. If the adoptive parent leaves behind a surviving spouse, the Florida’s elective share laws will govern the rights of this parent’s children and surviving spouse. If the surviving spouse is the biological or adoptive parent of all of the intestate decedent’s children, the surviving spouse receives all of the decedent’s intestate estate pursuant to Florida law.
However, if the decedent was unmarried, the adopted child receives the same share as his or her siblings. Thus, if the adoptive parent leaves behind an adopted child and other biological children but no living spouse, all of the children are legally entitled to equal shares of their probate estate pursuant to Florida’s intestacy laws. If he or she dies leaving behind a surviving spouse and adopted and non-adoptive children who are not children of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse receives half of the estate, while all of the children share equally in his or her estate.