When it comes to Tennessee inheritance laws, many parents wonder if their adopted children are entitled to inheritance upon their passing. In Tennessee, an adopted child is looked at the same way any biological children would be and therefore is entitled to inheritance. But what happens if the biological parents of your adopted child pass–can your child receive an inheritance from them? Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC has the answers.
Tennessee Inheritance Laws
Under Tennessee inheritance laws, the following situations will dictate who inherits your estate upon your passing.
- If you have a spouse but no children, the entire estate goes to your spouse.
- If you have a spouse and children, the estate is split evenly among the spouse and children but the spouse cannot receive less than 33% of the overall estate.
- If you have children but no spouse, the entire estate is split evenly among all the children.
Remember, if you adopt a child, they are given the same considerations as if they were your biological children. But what if you place your biological child up for adoption, can they claim your inheritance?
Can An Adopted Child Claim Inheritance From Biological Parents?
Tennessee inheritance law states that if a child is placed up for adoption and then is legally adopted by another family, that child is not permitted to claim an inheritance from his or her biological parents.
In addition, if you have foster children or stepchildren (not legally adopted), they are not considered the same under inheritance laws in Tennessee. In order to give legal rights to your foster or stepchildren, you must mention them in the will explicitly for them to have rights to your property.
Now, if you have illegitimate children, they are afforded the same inheritance rights as any other biological children you may have. But, paternity must be proven under Tennessee law.
Tennessee inheritance laws are full of nuances depending on the relationship to the deceased, the amount of time which passes between birth and death, and the remaining family alive at the time of the deceased’s passing. Because of this, it is imperative to meet with a Tennessee estate planning attorney to devise a plan to ensure that all of your loved ones are included in your estate plans upon your passing. Too often, we think a familial relationship is enough to determine inheritance, but that cannot be further from the truth.
Adoptive Child Inheritance in Tennessee: Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC
Navigating Tennessee inheritance law can be complicated. But when it comes to providing a stable future for your family upon your passing, you can’t leave these things up to chance. Allow the estate planning attorneys of Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC to guide you through the inheritance process. Preparing you and your loved ones for the future is what we do. Contact the Nashville estate planning attorneys today.