You married a woman who has a son from a previous marriage. You have raised him as if he was your own since he was 2 years old. You hang out all the time, you are his baseball coach, and you attend all his school functions. He pretty much thinks you are the coolest step-dad ever. You call him your ‘son’, but the reality of the situation is, he is not your son under Florida law.
When it comes to inheritance, you only have one father or one mother. Raising a child is not the same as ‘adopting’ a child. Adoption is going to court and getting a judgment or decree of adoption and legally cutting the ties with one parent and giving it to a new parent.
Even if you are completely involved in your step-son’s life, when it comes to being a legal heir and receiving inheritance, he can only receive from his biological father. If you want to make sure a step-son receives from your estate and they have not been legally adopted, specific language needs to be placed in your will or trust. If you do not prepare a will or trust, your step-son will receive ZERO from your estate.
If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties it is time to start preparing your estate-planning portfolio. Make sure your loved ones receive from your estate when you are gone. You can’t predict the future, but you can plan for it.
Contact an experienced estate-planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at (954) 303-9468 to discuss your estate planning needs.