Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children - Massachusetts

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Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person

Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 190B, § 2-114

Adoption of a child by the spouse of either natural parent has no effect on the right of the child or a descendant of the child to inherit from or through either natural parent.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person

Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 190B, § 2-114; Ch. 210, § 9

An adopted individual is the child of his or her adopting parent or parents and not of his or her natural parents. The court may decree that the rights of succession to property under this section shall vest in an adopted individual as of the date of the filing of the petition for adoption.

A person adopted in another State or country shall, upon proof of such fact, be entitled to the same rights of succession to property by intestacy as he or she would have had if he had been adopted in the Commonwealth.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will

Citation: Ann. Laws Ch. 190B, § 2-302

If a testator fails to provide in a will for any children born or adopted after the execution of the will, the omitted after-born or after-adopted child receives a share in the estate as follows:

  • If the testator had no child living when the will was executed, an omitted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to what the child would have received had the testator died intestate, unless the will left all or substantially all the estate to the surviving other parent of the child.
  • If the testator had one or more children living when the will was executed, and the will provided for one or more of the then-living children, an omitted child is entitled to share in the estate as follows:
    • The portion of the estate that the omitted child is entitled to share is limited to devises made to the testator's then-living children under the will.
    • The omitted child is entitled to receive the share of the estate that the child would have received had the testator included all omitted children with the his or her other children and had given an equal share of the estate to each child.

Neither subsection above applies if:

  • It appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
  • The testator provided for the omitted child by transfer outside the will and the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision is shown by the testator's statements or is reasonably inferred from the amount of the transfer or other evidence.