Can a Child Inherit From Parents if They Are Not Married?
The great thing about a will or trust is that you can leave
your property to anyone you want. It is
not necessary to sign a paternity statement or raise a child to leave property to that child. That said, it is very
important to affirmatively leave property to any child through a will or
trust. If a parent of an
illegitimate child dies without a will, some states do not protect the child’s
right of inheritance as strongly as if the child were born to married
parents. In Washington, if a parent dies without a will, his/her illegitimate
child is permitted to inherit regardless of whether the parents have been
married. But it is far easier for the
child to inherit through a will, than by going to court and attempting to claim
a share of an estate. In short, if you
want a child to inherit, regardless of the child’s legitimacy, leave the child
property in your will or other estate planning device.