In Florida, the adopted child inheritance law is the same as the natural child inheritance law. Adopted children are treated the same as natural children for purposes of intestate succession.
Intestate succession is the order in which property passes from the decedent to the decedent’s heirs. The term intestate describes an estate that passes without a will.
Under Florida probate rules, the adopted child can inherit from and through his adopting parents, even without a will. In addition, the adopting parents and their kin can inherit from and through the adopted child.
A child adopted after the execution of a will is considered a “pretermitted child” under Florida law. The term pretermitted refers to
Additionally, under the Florida inheritance law, an adopted child is not a descendant of his or her natural parents such that there is no “double dipping.” An adopted child cannot at once claim inheritance under the adopting parents’ estate and under the natural parents’ estate.
The exception to this rule, of course, is when the adopting parent is the step-parent of the child. Then, the child may at once claim inheritance under the natural parent’s estate as well as the adopting step-parent’s estate.
For example, Whitney and Henry have a child (Abe). Whitney divorces Henry. Some years later, Whitney marries Seth and Seth adopts Abe. For purposes of inheritance, Abe is a child of his natural mother, Whitney, and is a child of his adoptive father, Seth. Thus, Abe continues to inherit from and through Whitney and her family and inherits from and through Seth and his family as well.
In addition, any parent, whether natural or adoptive, is barred from inheriting from or through a child if that parent’s parental rights were terminated prior to the death of the child. In that case, the parent is treated as if he or she died before the child.
If you have any questions about Florida inheritance or adoption law, contact one of our experienced wills and estates attorneys today to schedule a free consultation!