Adoption and Inheritance

When individuals make their wills, they can give their property to whomever they wish. Unfortunately, not everyone makes a valid will, so Texas has default laws that apply when individuals don’t have wills or when they have an invalid will. Those default laws apply in situations called “intestacy.”

Texas intestacy laws differ depending on whether a parent is adoptive or biological.

When an adoptive parent dies, the adopted child is treated under the law exactly the same as the children born to the parent. That means that the adopted child and his or her children can inherit from the parent who died. Similarly, the adoptive parents can inherit from the adopted child just as they can from the children born.

The adopted child also has the benefit of being able to inherit property from the natural parent – that is, the biological parent of the adopted child. However, the natural parent cannot inherit from the child adopted by another person.

These inheritance laws do not change the fact that someone can execute a will that leaves property however they wish, including unequal distributions to or completely disinheriting children and parents.