Are Adopted Adults Considered “decendants”?

A common question with Florida Estate Planning is whether an adult who is adopted is considered a child. We often recomend that out clients places language in their Florida Wills or Florida Revocable Trusts that deal with these issues. The typical language deals with adopted children above or below a certain age. Most people want to consider children adopted at a young age the same as a child who is naturally born. Occasionally it is necessary for an adult to be adopted. This can happen to provide medical coverage or for other reasons. In these cases, individuals may not want to consider these adopted individuals the same as their naturally born or younger adopted children.

Gerry Beyer of the Wills, Trust & Estate professor Blog wrote an article on a Texas case where the court found that an adopted adult is not treated as a descendant. Gerry points out that this ase seems to be one where the court struggled with the facts and created bad case law to deal with the facts in the case.

Garry’s moral is one that should be used in all estate planning documents. When making gifts to classes such as “children,” “grandchildren,” and “descendants,” settlors and testators should indicate whether adopted children are included and if adopted children are included, the age by which they need to be adopted to be included in the class.

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