Does she have any legal claim to an inheritance since she no longer bears his name? 8 Answers as of November 12, 2014

My grandfather is the step father of my aunt. My grandmother is her biological mother. My aunt was adopted by my grandfather and was given his last name. After his passing, my aunt changed her name back to her mother's maiden name.

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Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
Yes, the name change has no effect, unless he specified to the contrary in his will or other document.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/12/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
A name change doesn't alter the relationship. If your aunt was adopted, she bears the same relationship as if she were Grandpa's natural child.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/11/2014
James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
Name has nothing to do with inheritance rights. The adoption sealed the deal - if he did not leave a will or trust disinheriting her, she is an heir and will inherit.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/11/2014
Law Office of Nathan Wagner
Law Office of Nathan Wagner | Nathan J. Wagner
Yes, she can still inherit from him, because she is still his adopted daughter, regardless of her name change. (Similarly, she could have gotten married and taken her husband's name without giving up her inheritance). Whether she as any legal claim to an inheritance depends on what your grandfather's will or trust says.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/11/2014
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
The crucial fact is the adoption not the change of name. Her adoption makes her the child and one of the heirs of the grandfather unless his estate documents specifically state that she is not to inherit anything from him.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/11/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Your aunt is the adopted daughter of your grandfather and, in California, is a legal heir to his estate, regardless of her last name.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/11/2014
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    If your grandfather legally adopted your aunt, she is then viewed as his issue (natural or adopted child) and can inherit from his estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/11/2014
    The Law Offices of Tres A. Porter | Tres A. Porter
    Your question is difficult to answer because it raises more questions. Presumably you are asking if your aunt has a claim to an inheritance from your grandfather's estate. The answer depends on a number of things. Did your grandfather have a will, trust, or other estate plan in place at the time he died? If so, assuming the will or estate plan is valid, then that document should control how his estate is distributed. If the answer is no, then your aunt's right to inherit would depend upon whether your grandfather left a surviving spouse, how many other children of his survived, etc. But generally speaking, adopted children have the same status as biological children and changing last names, particularly for women, has no bearing on whether someone is or is not considered the heir of a decedent. You should consult an experienced probate attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/11/2014
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