Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children - Washington

Date: February 2016

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person

Citation: Rev. Code § 11.04.085

A lawfully adopted child shall not be considered an heir of his or her natural parents.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 26.33.260; 11.02.005

An adopted person shall be, to all intents and purposes, and for all legal incidents, the child, legal heir, and lawful issue of the adoptive parent(s), entitled to all rights and privileges, including the right of inheritance.

When the term is used in probate and trust law, unless otherwise required from the context, 'issue' means all the lineal descendants of an individual. An adopted individual is a lineal descendant of each of his or her adoptive parents and of all individuals with regard to which each adoptive parent is a lineal descendant.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will

Citation: Rev. Code §§ 11.04.035; 11.12.091

Kindred of the half blood shall inherit the same share that they would have inherited if they had been of the whole blood, unless the inheritance comes to the intestate by descent, devise, or gift from one of his or her ancestors or kindred of such ancestor's blood, in which case all those who are not of the blood of such ancestors shall be excluded from such inheritance. The words 'kindred of such ancestor's blood' and 'blood of such ancestors' shall be construed to include any child lawfully adopted by one who is in fact of the blood of such ancestors.

If the will of a deceased parent fails to name or provide for his or her child who was adopted after the will's execution and who survives the parent, referred to here as an 'omitted child,' the child must receive an amount equal in value to that which the child would have received if the decedent had died intestate, unless the court determines on the basis of clear and convincing evidence that a smaller share, including no share at all, is more in keeping with the decedent's intent.