Hello and thank you for using our service. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help you. I just ask for you to ask any additional questions you may have if you feel the question has not been answered. Also, IF I have bad news for you, please remember I am only the messenger, I will try my best to give you a solution, but sometimes the law does not have a good one.
It boils down to a factual issue, where you adopted by someone else or were you not?
was the adoption legal and is there a court order?
yes I was adopted by someone else at the age of 16. the adoption is legal and I have the court papers and my birth cert has been changed.
his 4 other children, a girlfriend, then there is a portion that is to be divided by others with claims. he point blank disclaims both ex wives. i'm not mentioned at all
Ok, this brings up a few other questions then...
1.if you are not mentioned at all in his will, what is the issue here?
2. the will mentioned something about adopted so who was that in reference too, if not you?
3. What was said around those words "adopted", meaning what was the sentence before and after that?
this from Article XI Miscellaneous provisions letter c.
Ok, thanks. I don't understand why there is any confusion here. The wording here refers to any children HE may have adopted are considered is descendants, which is consistent with the law. Also, the law in S.C. is consistent with most states in that even if he died without a will, any child he gave up for adoption has no rights to his estate but you have the rights to the estate of your adoptive parents. Here is the law in S.C. and the statute:
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63-9-760; 62-2-109
After a final decree of adoption is entered, the birth parents of the adopted person are relieved of all parental responsibilities and have no rights over the adopted person.
The adoption of a child by an adoptive parent does not in any way change the legal relationship between the child and either birth parent of the child whose parental responsibilities and rights are not expressly affected by the final decree.
For purposes of intestate succession by, through, or from a person, an adopted person is the child of the adopting parent and not the birth parent, except that adoption of a child by the spouse of the birth parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and that birth parent.
He did not die intestate (that means without a will) and the fact that he had a will and did not mention you supports his intent that you were not to inherit under his estate. Any challenge you bring to his will in court, will most likely not succeed. I hope you can appreciate my honest opinion and not be upset because I couldn't tell you what you wanted to hear. I hope this helps clarify.
Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you (not the state of the law or whether you dislike the answer) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance to you. If you feel I have not earned a positive rating, please give me a chance to do so. Keep in mind even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. We are not paid a salary here and positive ratings encourage experts to answer future questions. If you do rate me positively, a bonus is always appreciated. If you would like to request me in the future, just make sure you type: To Georgetown Lawyer on the subject line. Thank you!
u stated HE adopted. can you show me where it says HE adopted. because the one lawyer I talked to locally said that it states like it is an assumption HE adopted but that it is not clear. That is why he said there is a crack there that may allow me to get in.
"child and "children" mean lawful lineal blood descendants in the first degree of the parent designated, and the term descendents means lawful lineal blood descendents in any degree of the ancestor designated, but such shall include any legally adopted prior to the time that person reaches the age of 18"
The word HE is not in there, this paragraph in the will is explaining what a child means and it includes adopted children that he would have adopted. Since I have prepared and read many wills, I know what the language means. Furthermore, even if this was not in his will you were legally adopted by someone else and the law says you are not entitled to inherit from your biological parents, only your adoptive parents and I gave you the law on that. If you cannot accept this, you are welcome to go and try to contest the will. It is your choice. I hope this helps clarify. Thanks and best regards.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).