Many people ask whether adopted children have the same inheritance rights as natural children. In New York a child that is adopted by a new family gets full inheritance rights from their adopting family.
Generally speaking the adopted children will lose their inheritance rights from their natural parents or members of their natural family. However there are exceptions to this for instance if the child is adopted by the spouse of one of the birth parents or the child is adopted by a relative.
We have seen cases where children who thought they were adopted were in reality not adopted, as in their paperwork was not complete and did not go through. Some children have even thought that they were biological children when in reality they were not even adopted children.
Step-children are not considered children unless they were adopted with all of the requirements of an adoption being met and the adoption having been court-ordered by a judge.
If a valid Last Will and Testament is made, than children can inherit even if they were not adopted nor biological, for example children with incomplete adoptions or step-children.
If you would like to discuss your individual situation involving inheritance of adopted children, you can contact New York Estate Attorney Albert Goodwin, Esq. by calling (212) 233-1233.