Can a child born out of wedlock get an inheritance from a father who has passed away? Over the past few years, there has been a significant change in North Carolina law regarding the inheritance rights of children who were born out of wedlock. As the law continues to update over time, wedlock is becoming less taboo, giving these children more rights. It is however essential to consult with a legal professional for the most up-to-date and accurate advice regarding this ever-changing area of the law.
In North Carolina, a child born out of wedlock is the legitimate child of their mother and has the right to inherit from that mother and her relatives. This is an automatic assumption. There are differences, however, regarding the paternal inheritance and his relatives. They can inherit through intestate succession (if the father dies without a will) by either becoming legitimate during the lifetime of the father or some other action that triggers the child’s right to intestacy. The child may also receive through intestacy if they are legally adopted during the father’s lifetime.
The other best possible scenario is when the father voluntarily acknowledges the paternity or if it is acknowledged by court order. When this occurs, creating a legal parent-child relationship, the child may have inheritance rights from his or her father. This acknowledgment grants the child the same inheritance rights as a child would receive had they been born within the marriage. If the father does not recognize paternity voluntarily, there is still a chance of inheritance from the father and his relatives if paternity can be proven in court. The standard for this proof is relatively high, requiring a paternity suit or clear and convincing evidence of the father’s paternity.
Other potential ways to inherit via intestate succession as established under G.S. 49-10. Another way to deal with this issue is if the death was before or within one year of Birth and DNA testing. However, with all of this in mind, it is important to note that a child who is born during the father’s lifetime but otherwise is entitled to inherit is only able to inherit if the child has given written notice of the basis of his claim to the personal representative of the father within six months of the date of the notice to creditors (this does not apply if the child is a minor).
With so many exceptions in the ever-changing field of law, it is once again best to always consult a lawyer with any question regarding this issue. You may have a limited time to file a lawsuit to assert your rights. Contact a trust and estates attorney right away to find out if you may have a potential trust and estates dispute case. King Law Offices is a full-service law firm with an outstanding team of professionals who work diligently, creatively, and compassionately on behalf of our clients each day. We serve the Upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina. Call 888-748-KING (5464) today to set up a consultation with one of our dedicated estate planning attorneys.