If I’m adopted and my biolagical mother just passed away, do I have a claim to her estate?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I’m adopted and my biolagical mother just passed away, do I have a claim to her estate?

We were close the last 10 years of her life but I was adopted out legally to a diffrent family.

Asked on February 17, 2016 under Estate Planning, Iowa


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your mother.
If she left a Will, the provisions of the Will are controlling in determining inheritance.  If you were omitted from the Will, you can contest the Will.
If your mother did not leave a Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.
Under intestate succession, if your mother had a surviving spouse, he inherits her entire estate.  Her children do not inherit anything.
If there wasn't a surviving spouse, your mother's estate is divided equally among her children.  Therefore, you would have a claim to a portion of her estate.  For example, if there are three surviving children including yourself, you would receive 1/3.  If there are any deceased children who had children (your mother's grandchildren), they would inherit the share their deceased parent would have inherited had their deceased parent survived.
For example, if your mother had four children and one is deceased who had children, you and your surviving siblings each receive 1/4 and the children of the deceased sibling receive 1/4 (the share their deceased parent would have received had their deceased parent survived).

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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