Nonmarital Children

There was a time when children born out of wedlock did not have any right to an inheritance. Thankfully, modern legal trends have softened to allow children born out of wedlock to have a recognized ability to inherit assets upon the death of either parent.

All states now allow a child born out of wedlock to receive an inheritance from his or her mother, but challenges arise when an “illegitimate” child is faced with the death of a father who did not leave a will specifically leaving assets to that child. There are three ways in which a child born out of wedlock can inherit from his or her father:

  1. The father married the mother after the child’s birth.
  2. The deceased man was legally stated to be the father through a paternity suit.
  3. Clear and convincing evidence is presented at probate court to prove that the man was the father of the child.


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