Inheritance Issues When Parents Were Never Married

Inheritances may occur without the need for parents to marry, but the state laws may not recognize the person as an heir or beneficiary to an estate or trust without full recognition when the parents do not leave a legal document behind. The default process may cut the person out of the inheritance when neither parent marries and acknowledges the individual.

Default State Inheritance

When an estate owner does not leave behind a will, trust or other legal documentation to provide for heirs, the default state process with inheritance is normal. This requires children recognized through marriage or blood and the surviving spouse to inherit assets and liabilities through the estate in a certain percentage. This may split between the spouse and children based on the state with most or all of the assets of the estate passing on in this manner while also paying the probate court costs and any liabilities through the sale of assets that may include property and objects in a home.

Inheritance through a Will

If the estate owner leaves behind a will, the child may inherit anything that does not violate the state laws even if the parents never married. The estate owner may leave a certain percentage or all of his or her assets to the child. There is no need for a paternity statement or that the individual is a blood relation. However, the estate owner must finalize the will and ensure that there is a witness along with a lawyer to provide legal validity to the will. Without a will or trust or another legal document, the state may not recognize any child that is adopted, fostered or not recognized through marriage.

Trust and Other Legal Documents

When the estate owner creates a will, trust or even a different legal document, he or she does not usually need to prove any biological connection to the beneficiary. He or she need only sign the paperwork and provide the contents to the correct parties as well as use a lawyer to ensure validity. Through an agent or an estate manager, the owner may provide for a child that has no legitimately married parents. The inheritance will work through the provisions of the legal document or trust as specified within the document and terms.

This may pass on property, money or other assets even if the person has no legally documented connection to the estate owner.

It is usually with the absence of a will that a child may not inherit from a father that remained unmarried. However, the mother may still usually pass on assets and property in a default state inheritance process. This provides for a full inheritance. With the use of a trust, the father could ensure the adult or child receives the funds through years or the rest of his or her life. Other legal documents may bypass the probate process and help the person inherit the estate assets faster with fewer difficulties. It is generally crucial to hire a lawyer to prepare and file the necessary documentation.

Challenges, Probate and the State Effects

There are some wills that the family will challenge, and this could include when one heir is not a recognized person as a blood relation. If the parents never marry, the rest of the family may challenge the will to remove the person. This is a possible outcome if there exists no documentation that the child is one from the father or mother. Without any knowledge, proof or apparent connection, the challenge may succeed and remove the person from the will. If the spouse or other children attempt this, the individual affected may also need to hire a lawyer and make a case for the inheritance.

During probate, the other heirs may have additional problems that could complicate the inheritance. These may depend on the passing of assets or when there is no legal marriage between the parents of children. This could require investigation into who is a relation of the deceased estate owner. If the child is not aware of the connection, the probate court may need to contact him or her for participation in the probate process and subsequent inheritance.

Legal Help with an Inheritance

The state default process may happen when the will is not valid, lost or is not the original. Then, any child of a father may not receive the inheritance from the estate. He or she may need a lawyer to pursue the inheritance.

Provided by HG.org