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?

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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

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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