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To Inherit From A Natural Parent, An Adopted Away Child Must Satisfy Specific Requirements


So here is my client; her natural father died without a will and her half-sister claims the entire estate, alleging that my client did not satisfy the special circumstances required under California law for an adopted away child to inherit from a natural parent (California Probate Code §6451).

Those special circumstances (both of which must be met) are that:

“(1) The natural parent and the adopted person lived together at any time as parent and child, or the natural parent was married to or cohabiting with the other natural parent at the time the person was conceived and died before the person’s birth.”(California Probate Code §6451 subpart a (1)).

“(2) The adoption was by the spouse of either of the natural parents or after the death of either of the natural parents. ((California Probate Code §6451 subpart a (2) )”.

My client definitely satisfied part 2, as she was adopted by her step-father, the spouse of her natural mother. The argument was over part 1. Just what did it mean that they “lived together at any time as parent or child”?

Then came the next curve ball … see it in my next post.

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