Continuing our two-part blog series focusing on the rights of illegitimate children or children born out of wedlock, we’ll cover when an illegitimate child can inherit from your biological father. As you know from reading the first blog in this series, an illegitimate child can inherit from his or her natural mother if she includes him or her in her Will and even if she failed to create a valid Will.
Under the state’s intestacy laws, an illegitimate child has intestacy rights to inherit from his or her biological mother and vice versa. However, an illegitimate child does not have the same intestacy rights to inherit from his or her biological father unless provided for in his Will. A biological, illegitimate child can inherit from his or her biological father without a Will in a few other limited circumstances. An illegitimate child can inherit by intestacy if his or her father signed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity or signs the child’s birth certificate. Additionally, if the father legally adopted his child or established paternity before the child’s 20th birthday, the child can inherit by intestacy.
A few other very limited circumstances allow an illegitimate child to inherit by intestacy, including a probate court’s decision to allow it after establishing paternity. An illegitimate child can also inherit by intestacy if the biological father subsequently marries the biological mother and signs a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity.