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    Step Child's inheritance

    Jurisdiction / State: North Dakota

    I am thinking about getting married to my girlfriend (if she says yes!) who has a 4 year old child from a previous marriage. I am curious about inheritance issues concerning my would-be step child as well as my own future children. I was thinking that it doesn't seem fair to allow all the children, including the step child, to have an equal inheritance because the step child also will have an inheritance from his father and step mother. (his father is remarried now) It would seem that if my step child were to inherit equally from both biological parents, and their spouses, then he would potentially end up "double dipping". In other words the biological children, on both sides, would only have ONE set of parents to inherit from, but the step child would have TWO sets of parents to inherit from which does not seem fair. How does a person make sure of a fair distribution for all the children once the parents die?



    Finally, I will inherit, along w/ my two siblings, my parents lake home. My parents have spoken w/ my siblings and me and we all agree we'd like the property to stay in our family name and control so that future generations of our family will have a place to enjoy, etc. How would I handle passing on my interest in the family lake home regarding my children and step child? As I said, we want the lake home to stay in our family, and my step child would not be biologically related to me and would not have the same last name, either. I cannot adopt him because both of his parents are alive and interested in his life, etc. Therefore, if I let him inherit an interest in the lake home I would essentially be introducing an entirely new "family" into our lake home estate because his last name is different than mine and quite frankly I want nothing to do with his father's family, etc. I guess it might seem cold hearted, but the property did not originate with me as I am only inheriting an interest in it, so it does not seem right to take any part in allowing my family lake estate to be split between two families when it was meant to stay in our family alone. Any advice out there?

    ~Concerned about the future~

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    Re: Step Child's inheritance

    You can control who will inherit your estate with a will.

    You can create your own will, or hire an attorney to do one for you.

    Your worries about what your potential stepchild might inherit could eliminate your marriage prospects.




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    Step children do not have a right to inheritance. Though Army is right, if your girlfriend finds out that you will not accept her child as your own you may find yourself perpetually single.

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    ... unless the stepdad dies first without a will. Stepchild can inherit through mother.

    Regarding the single part, I really don't believe I would be offended by the inheritance exclusion, as long as the explanation and reasoning was presented in a more concise and sensitive way. Cause yeah, it sounded pretty cold-hearted.
    I'm not a lawyer

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    Irish, the STEP child isn't a STEP child when the MOTHER dies. She is a natural child. :-)

    Step children MAY inherit if they are named as heirs but they have no right to inheritance.

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    Yes, I do understand that the stepchild is a natural child to the mother. I guess I should have been clearer:

    .. unless the stepdad dies first without a will. Man's stepchild can inherit through child's mother.

    Are you saying the if the stepdad dies first, the wife inherits all, then the wife dies.... that the stepchild of the stepdad (or child of the wife) will not have any rights to the estate she leaves?
    I'm not a lawyer

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    That is correct. The step child has no claim on his estate. If he dies first and leaves the estate to his wife either because he is intestate or because of his will, then the daughter will have standing to inherit from her when she dies.

    Ironically, if he dies intestate and the state is "sweet heart" will state where everything goes to the wife if there is no will, then his children will become the step children and all the assets will go to her child without a will stating otherwise.

    Odd isn't it.

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    Are you saying the if the stepdad dies first, the wife inherits all, then the wife dies.... that the stepchild of the stepdad (or child of the wife) will not have any rights to the estate she leaves?

    That is correct. The step child has no claim on his estate. If he dies first and leaves the estate to his wife either because he is intestate or because of his will, then the daughter will have standing to inherit from her when she dies.
    I'm confused. I believe what I bolded in your statement is what I originally said. When I asked the question in the first part of the quote, you said that is correct. That's contradictory, unless I'm missing something.

    Ironically, if he dies intestate and the state is "sweet heart" will state where everything goes to the wife if there is no will, then his children will become the step children and all the assets will go to her child without a will stating otherwise.

    Odd isn't it.
    I'm confused here too. If he dies while married to this prospective wife, then presumably the only children he will have will also be hers. All of her children will share equally in her estate. Their children together will not become stepchildren.
    I'm not a lawyer

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    Her child with another man, is a stepchild to this man.
    That same child is a sibling of any children that she might have with him.
    Therefore, if they have two children, her child from a previous marriage will share equally with the other siblings any proceeds from their mother's estate.

    But, let's face it, a lake home isn't real wealth, is it?
    I mean, we're not talking millions of dollars here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by army judge View Post
    Her child with another man, is a stepchild to this man.
    That same child is a sibling of any children that she might have with him.
    Therefore, if they have two children, her child from a previous marriage will share equally with the other siblings any proceeds from their mother's estate.

    But, let's face it, a lake home isn't real wealth, is it?
    I mean, we're not talking millions of dollars here.

    Oh I don't know...if said home was in Lake Arrowhead or something maybe..


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    I'm confused too.

    First part is easy, you are essentially right. Most states the wife gets what the husband leaves if no will. Then if wife dies her child is an heir.

    On the second part I was assuming he had children already and he does not.

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