The Succession Rights of Adopted Adults: Trying to Fit a Square Peg into a Round Hole
Peter T. Wendel
Pepperdine University - School of Law
Creighton Law Review, Vol. 43, 2010
Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2011/2
In this Article, Professor Wendel examines the adult adoption paradigm and three specific sub-paradigm scenarios: (1) same-sex partner adult adoption, (2) heir designation adult adoption, and (3) stepparent/foster parent adult adoption. First, he discusses the traditional legal analysis for adult adoptions, in which the parties are granted the full inheritance rights attached to a parent-child relationship. He then argues that this analysis fails to take the relationship of the parties into sufficient consideration. He proposes instead that the general rule for adult adoptions should be that adopted adults are permitted to inherit from each other (partial inheritance rights) but not through each other (full inheritance rights) from a third party, unless a testamentary instrument either expressly includes adopted adults, or the adoptee is specifically named as a beneficiary. According to Professor Wendel, this succession scheme better reflects the nature of the underlying relationship between the parties and the presumed intent of the average decedent.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 41
Keywords: adoption, adopt, will, testament, testamentary, same-sex, marriage, parent, child, spouse, foster parent, stepparent, adoptee, beneficiary, decedentAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 6, 2011
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