Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children - New Mexico

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Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 45-2-114

A parent is barred from inheriting from or through a child of the parent if:

  • The parent's parental rights were terminated and the parent-child relationship was not judicially re-established.
  • The child died before reaching age 18, and there is clear and convincing evidence that immediately before the child's death the parental rights of the parent could have been terminated on the basis of nonsupport, abandonment, abuse, neglect, or other actions or inactions of the parent toward the child.

For the purpose of intestate succession from or through the deceased child, a parent who is barred from inheriting under this section is treated as if the parent predeceased the child.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 32A-5-37; 45-2-114

The adopted person and adopting parent(s) shall have all rights and be subject to all of the duties of the parent-child relationship upon adoption, including the right of inheritance from and through each other. For purposes of intestate succession, an adopted individual is the child of his or her adopting parent(s).

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 45-2-302; 45-2-705

If a testator fails to provide in his or her will for a child who was adopted after the execution of the will, the omitted after-adopted child receives a share in the estate as follows:

  • If the testator had no child living when he or she executed the will, an omitted after-adopted 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 gave all or substantially all of the estate to the other parent of the omitted child and that other parent survives the testator and is entitled to take under the will.
  • If the testator had one or more children living when he or she executed the will, and the will gave property or an interest in property to one or more of the then-living children, an omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share in the testator's estate as follows:
    • The portion of the estate that the omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share is limited to bequests made to the testator's then-living children under the will.
    • The omitted after-adopted child is entitled to receive the share of the estate, as limited above, that the child would have received had the testator included all omitted after-born and after-adopted children with the children to whom bequests were made under the will and had given an equal share of the estate to each child.

The above does not apply if:

  • If it appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
  • The testator provided for the omitted after-adopted child by transfer outside the will with the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision.

Adopted individuals and their respective descendants, if appropriate to the class, are included in class gifts and other terms of relationship in accordance with the rules for intestate succession.