What are the rights of foster children when someone dies? 19 Answers as of February 03, 2014

My sister and I were raised by a friend of my father's from an early age. They had 1 daughter who for me was my "sister". My children have always thought of her as their aunt. She has no surviving children, her cousin passed away and his wife has inherited her house. Am I entitled to any of the things in the house I grew up in?

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Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
Probably not. You can ask, and maybe she will provide you some of the personal items.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2014
LAW OFFICES OF JAMES F. MALINOWSKI
LAW OFFICES OF JAMES F. MALINOWSKI | JAMES F. MALINOWSKI
Unless you were legally adopted, as a foster child, you would have no legal rights to the estate. You may however, approach the person who received the house and explain your situation. You may be surprised that the person has no use for the things that you desire.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 1/31/2014
Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
If you were not adopted by this family you do not inherit from them except if they specifically bequeath something to you. In other words, unless you were legally adopted, you are not an heir at law. This does not mean the family can't leave you something but there is no legal entitlement.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 1/31/2014
James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
Probably not if you were never legally adopted.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2014
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
Was there a will? What did it say?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/3/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    If you were legally adopted, then for purpose of inheritance you become the child of the adoptive family.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Kirby G. Moss PC | Kirby G. Moss
    In absence of a will, foster children that are not adopted would inherit nothing.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Generally not under the probate code.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Unless there is a Will or Trust providing otherwise, you have no rights. Given the situation, I would think that the person inheriting the property should be willing to part with some of the family mementos. There would be no legal obligation to do so, however. The same thing is true for step-children, under Michigan law. That is one of the reasons why it is so critical to do the estate planning.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    Generally, foster children have only the rights that are created by Will, joint property or beneficiary designations. If the decedent does not provide for them, they do not receive anything by default.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    Probably not, certainly not as a matter of law. If the deceased person left a Will leaving you items or a share, that would be different. For more information, consult with an attorney specializing in estate administration.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    As a legatee under a Will you would receive whatever legacy was stated in the Will. If there is no will then a child must be born to or adopted by the deceased. If there are no children then the heirs are parents, siblings or the descendants of parents or siblings.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Fluhr & Moore, LLC | Steven S. Fluhr
    Sadly, you are not entitled to anything unless you were named in the last will and testament.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Unless there was a will giving you something, no.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
    Unfortunately, no unless they adopted you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    No, unfortunately you are not, unless she left a Will naming you as a beneficiary.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Estrada Law P.C. | Michele Ungvarsky
    Unless you were specifically provided for in the will the answer is probably no.
    Answer Applies to: New Mexico
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Usually foster children are not considered relatives for the purposes of inheritance so you probably don't have any legal right to your "sister's" possessions. However, the cousin's wife may be willing to let you have some of the things in the house for free or at a reduced price if you explain what items you would like to have and why it has meaning for you.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 1/31/2014
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    Unlike natural children, step-children are not entitled to inherit from step-parents.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 1/31/2014
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