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What Are the Inheritance Rights of Adopted and Step-Children in Maryland?

In the state of Maryland, adoptive children lose all inheritance rights from their biological parents but gain full inheritance rights from their adoptive parents. If an adopted child is left out of a will, Maryland’s intestacy laws are used to determine the adoptive child’s share.


Step-children do not acquire inheritance rights from their adoptive step-parent. They do, however, retain the right to inherit from their biological parents. A step-child may also inherit if they are named in a will, or if there no surviving blood relatives.


One common question is whether an estranged adopted child can lose his or her inheritance rights. The short answer is no. According to Maryland law, estrangement does not disqualify an adopted child from full inheritance rights.


For a free, confidential conversation to discuss inheritance rights or other estate planning matters, or to create your own Estate Plan, contact Maryland estate planning attorney Stephen J. Reichert at 410-299-4959, or by clicking here.


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