When planning for what happens to our assets after we die, we must look at our family and decide who gets what, if anything at all. Not all our family situations are one-size-fits-all and, in some instances, creating a will is not a simple task to bear when making these decisions. This is especially the case for people who have given up their child up for adoption. Every now and then we get a question wondering if their biological children will receive an inheritance from them.
The simple answer to this question is, no they do not, unless you have specifically made provisions in a will or trust for such person. Under Georgia law, an adoption terminates all legal relationships between the adopted person and his or her biological relatives, including the biological parents. This is codified in Georgia law at O.C.G.A. 19-8-19. If someone dies without a will (what is called dying intestate), their natural child adopted by someone else is not considered their natural heir. So, the child who was adopted by another would never inherit from a biological parent. If you want to ensure that your child given up for adoption inherits from you, you must make provisions for that in your own will or trust.
On the contrary, a person adopted by another is considered a natural heir of his or her adoptive parents. Therefore, if an adopted child's adoptive parents were to die without a will, such adopted child will be treated the same as a natural child and would inherit from the adoptive parents. Of course, the adoptive parents can complete their own estate planning using a trust or a will, and can choose to disinherit anyone they want, including an adopted child.
The creation of a will or trust is important for making sure your assets are distributed how you would like them to be, that the right people will be in charge of that process, and that plans are in place to provide for the management of your healthcare and finances if you were to become incapacitated. Because estate planning is often a person's most significant legal need, and one that can affect an entire family, we certainly recommend working with an experienced estate planning lawyer. At Peach State Wills & Trusts, we help individuals, families and business owners with their important planning in a stress-free manner. For help with your estate planning needs , please contact us here or give us a call at (678) 344-4352.
To learn more about estate planning in Georgia, request our free guide to estate planning here.