How Adoption Can Impact Your Will & Trust

Adoption is a loving choice. Whether you adopt a baby from a mother unable to take care of her infant or adopt an older child from the foster care system, you’re doing a wonderful thing by providing love, stability, food, and shelter to a child. One thing to consider is how adoption can impact your estate planning, wills, and trusts. Davidson Law Group explains.

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Designate Who Receives Assets

In any aspect of will and trust planning, you can designate precisely who receives your assets upon your death. You can also direct who takes care of your children if they aren’t adults yet. So long as you fill out and sign the proper forms in accordance with Texas law, you can have peace of mind knowing that you did all you could to make sure your adopted children are cared for.

Try to Avoid Conflicts

You may not anticipate conflicts in your family due to inheritance, but it is still recommended to prepare accordingly. Even if you fill out a will that appears ironclad, biological family members may feel compelled to challenge your will or trust. There are two easy ways to avoid conflicts when it comes to estate planning. First, talk to your family and discuss why you filled out your will the way you did. Second, treat all of your inheritors equally in terms of financial assets. That way, no one feels left out or shortchanged.

Biological Parents

In Texas, the biological parents of an adoptee cannot show up later and try to take assets from their biological child. Biological parents gave up their rights, and records were sealed, shortly after the adoption was legal. However, a child can inherit assets from a biological parent if the parent doesn’t name a specific inheritor. You don’t have to worry about a biological parent suddenly showing up in your child’s life, but you might have to deal with an inheritance at some point.

Adult Adoptees

One common situation occurs when a child has no relationship with either biological parent for many years. Another family may formally adopt someone, even as an adult, to make a familial relationship official. Someone adopting an adult supersedes the rights of a biological family in estate planning. This may occur with a step-parent or two parents who have no biological relationship with the adult adoptee.

Marriage

When an adopted child marries, that throws another factor into estate planning. Your child may inherit assets from a spouse in the event of the spouse’s death if there are no children involved. Again, the best way to determine who gets what is to have it outlined in writing.

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Davidson Law Group: Here for You

The attorneys at Davidson Law Group are knowledgeable about all of the complexities of wills, trusts, and estate planning. We’ll help determine the best course of action based on your individual situation, including whether you adopted a child or if you’re an adoptee yourself. Contact our law firm today in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler.