Are my wife and I the only legal heirs to our adopted daughter’s estate even ifshe has half-brother and sister by her birth mother?

UPDATED: Dec 21, 2011

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Are my wife and I the only legal heirs to our adopted daughter’s estate even ifshe has half-brother and sister by her birth mother?

She was legally adopted as a baby 32 years ago She has a half-brother and half-sister by her birth mother and by different men. She was our only child. Is it correct to assume that my wife and I are her only legal heirs?

Asked on December 21, 2011 under Estate Planning, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Good question. Did your adopted daughter pass away with a Will or trust in place? If so, then the words of either of these two documents control who are the beneficiaries of her estate.

If there was no Will of your adopted daughter, you and your wife are heirs to her estate under your estate's intestacy laws. He natural parents will not be heirs to her estate. However, her half siblings depending upon the intestacy laws of the state she passed away in could be heirs to her estate besides you two. I suggest that you and your wife consult with a Wills and trust attorney further about the question you have written about for a more definite answer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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