Children born outside of marriage often have the same inheritance rights as children born during a marriage. However, sometimes the rights of children born outside of marriage are complicated and succession cases contested.
Understanding the Inheritance Rights of a Child Born Outside of Marriage
A child born outside of a marriage has the same inheritance rights as a child born during, or soon after, a marriage when:
- The child inherits property from the mother. Like all other states, Louisiana recognizes a child’s right to inherit property from a mother regardless of the mother’s marital status at the time of the child’s birth.
- The child inherits property from a father who acknowledged paternity. If an Acknowledgement of Paternity Affidavit was executed prior to the father’s death, the child born outside of a marriage has the same inheritance rights as a child born during a marriage.
- The child inherits property from a father whose paternity was proven in court. Once paternity is established in court, a child born out of wedlock has the same rights as children born to married parents.
These rules apply when a parent dies without a will. A parent may also choose to leave a child born outside of marriage an inheritance in a will.
What to Do If Your Inheritance Rights Aren’t Clear
After your father dies, you may have questions about your inheritance. Whether you are a child born to unmarried parents or you have a sibling making an inheritance claim, you need to understand your rights.
Each year, our New Orleans succession attorneys help hundreds of families throughout Louisiana. We would be happy to review your parent’s succession and ensure that all potential heirs are treated fairly. Please contact us today to learn more about how we can help you navigate your parent’s succession in an efficient, sensitive, and cost-effective way.