If Iadopted my wife’s 18 year-old daughter and my wife passed away, can my daughter sue money left to me?

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If Iadopted my wife’s 18 year-old daughter and my wife passed away, can my daughter sue money left to me?

My wife left everything to me because she knew her daughter was not responsible. She does not want to work and is pregnant. She is only 18 and wants to control the money which she feels is hers. I would help her get on her feet and have a good start but she insists on suing me for more money. I do not agree on giving her anything because she will abuse the money and not put it toward a house, car or her baby items. Does she have a case she could win or do I need to get help too?

Asked on November 1, 2010 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Generally, you can disinherit an adult child or children. To do so, it is necessary to specifically say in the Will that the omission is intentional.  This also acknowledges that a parent knows of the existence of this child. Therfore, assuming that her Will was properly drafted, there should beno problem for you.  However, it would still be a good idea to consult with a probate attorney in your area as to all of this.

Note:  If a child is a minor, states provide an allowance to support the child until he or she reaches the age of majority, typically age 18.


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