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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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i am a beneficiary of a revocable trust my parents created

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i am a beneficiary of a revocable trust my parents created 10 years ago. they are both deceased. i have 3 brothers. to remain brief, the trust basically gives my brothers and i a life estate to "equitably" use a lake home. after we are deceased the property will pass on to "grandchildren" (2 brothers have children) the trust ends and they would have title. . my oldest brother and i have no children nor spouses. the verbage in the trust does not specify certain grandchildren nor equitable use. so, if i marry and my spouse has adult children, when i die will they (and my spouse) be able to use this lake home. i'm age 60 and most likely might marry but, not have birth children. can i adopt adult step-children. thanks

Welcome! Thank you for your question.


That is a terrific advanced question to ask. If you marry and your wife has children then they would not be included under the typical legal definition of children that would be used for a trust. However, if you adopted the children then they would be your legal children and would be included under the definition in the trust. Please beware of a couple of points:


If you adopt future stepchildren and later divorce from their biological parent then the children are still you legal children and inherit under the trust.


Also, when you adopt stepchildren then it makes you and your spouse their legal parents and their other biological parent is no longer considered their legal parent. This can effect the biological parent's will or trust agreement.



I cannot provide you with legal advise. I can provide you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you can find online, should not take the place of having a detailed consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

clarification; can i adopt adult children. also, the trust says nothing about beneficiarys not being able to lease or give away their alloted time at this lake home. therefore, can i assume i can do either of these 2 scenarios. thanks

As a beneficiary you do not have rights to do anything with trust property unless the trust specifically says you can. If the trust does not give you the right to lease or give away your property then you do not have the right to do either.

You can adopt adult children and they are considered legally your children and grandchildren.
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