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Maryland Inheritance Rights of Adopted and Step-Children

What you want to know. Concise, Clear Explanations

Adopted Children.  The general rule is that adopted children, from the time of adoption, lose all rights to inherit from their birth or biological parents. At the same time, adopted children acquire the right to inherit from their adoptive parents. Adoptive parents also have the right to inherit from their adopted children.

Can I inherit from my adoptive parent if I’m estranged? The adopted child has the same inheritance rights as the biological children; – estrangement is not grounds for disqualification.

Can I inherit if I’m left out of my adoptive parent’s Will?  If an adopted child is left out of the Will of an adoptive parent, the adoptive child’s share is determined according to the laws of intestacy. In other words, if the decedent had died without a Will, the adoptive child is entitled to the same share he would have received had the decedent died without a Will. For example: if the Will leaves everything to three biological children and leaves out the adopted child, the adopted child will still be entitled to a ¼ share.

How can I find out what are my inheritance rights?  Local attorney Rob Goldman is one of the best Maryland inheritance lawyers, with over 30 years of practical experience in Wills and probate. He can provide clear explanations of your rights and options and help you enforce your rights in a timely manner.

Step-children do not acquire the right to inherit from their adoptive parents. They continue to have the right to inherit from their birth or biological parents. However, a step-child can inherit if named in the Will, or if the decedent had no surviving blood relatives.

After-born children refer to children who are conceived before but only born after the death of the parent.  The inheritance rights of after-born children are the same as biological children under the laws of intestacy, namely, as if they had been born while the parent was still living.

To review the Maryland statute for more information regarding the inheritance right of adopted and stepchildren, see Estate & Trusts Article, Md Code Ann. Sections 1-205 through 1-208, and 3-107 through 3-110.