Is it true that I gave up rights to my biological father’s estate because I was adopted even though the adoption happened 5 years after he died?

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Is it true that I gave up rights to my biological father’s estate because I was adopted even though the adoption happened 5 years after he died?

I am his only child and heir. The state treasurer says they have unclaimed property in his name but that I can’t claim it because I was adopted after he died.

Asked on April 26, 2013 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The state treasurer is wrong. Upon his death, if you were his direct heir, you need to explain that probate law deems you his heir. If need be, and without cost to you, you need to get the Illinois Attorney General to help you. Make a stink. Contact your state senators and be bold and loud in your request. It would be a different story if you were adopted before he died. Since he didn't specifically exclude you (clearly no will or the will was ineffective), you have every right to that unclaimed property.


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