I have a friend, who is now grown, who was born out of wedlock, and the father never paid any child support or acknowledged him as his son. Later on, the father had another family with children – who have never met their half brother. The father does not deny that this is his child and it would be relatively easy to prove. Is my friend eligible for any inheritance from his natural father? Even if not included in a will?
You asked a complicated question. If the friend can prove he is the biological son and the father does not leave a will he could be a beneficiary. If he leaves a will and does not mention the friend, and the friend can prove he is the son, sometimes a person can make a case that if not mentioned in the will, the parent "forgot" to mention the child in the will. His best bet is to have the father's name put on the birth certificate by having the father sign a paternity affidavit or adopt.
The father will not sign a paternity affidavit. He will not adopt - at this point, my friend is grown and no longer of "adoption" age.
The father has not wanted (and still does not want) to acknowledge his son. I am certain that he will leave a will and that will not include my friend. Is he legally entitled to anything - or no?
You can adopt adults, so he is not past adoption age, but if the guy doesn't want to acknowledge him as a son that would be out of the question.
As I said above, he can contest the will if he is not mentioned, but can someone legally leave a child of theirs out of his will? Yes, you do not have to put all your children in a will. If the father does not leave a will, then a portion of the estate goes to each child by law. This is one of those areas of the law that is not just "black and white" and may very easily to go court to get it settled some day. That is what probate courts are for--to settle these sorts of "gray area" disputes or to rule whether he accidently left a child out of a will.
Attorney at Law
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