Couple sues for daughter’s right to prior adoptive family fortune

When someone is cut out of a will or trust in Lee County, Florida, there can be a lot of feelings of resentment and heartache. Sometimes the legality of disinheriting someone can be called into question and the issue taken to probate court.

One couple did just that on behalf of their adopted daughter recently. For years they had no idea that the girl had been named one of the beneficiaries of her prior adopted millionaire father’s trust fund. The man died shortly after he and his wife had adopted the girl from China. After the couple found out about the trust years later, they tried to gather more information but were prevented access to information about what their daughter stood to inherit.

The girl had come to live with the couple after her first adopted mother placed her in a school for special-needs children. The mother claimed the girl would not bond with her or the rest of her five biological children and that she was difficult to handle. This did not seem to be a problem for people working at the school. When the adopted mother placed the girl up for adoption, one of the women on the staff and her husband happily adopted her. The woman said she felt a special bond with the girl.

The first adopted mother argued that because the girl was no longer part of her family, she was not entitled to any part of the trust. Court authorities thought otherwise and declared that because the girl was legally the daughter of the man when he died, she was entitled to the same percentage of his trust fund as the other children.

The girl’s second adoptive parents did the right thing by hiring a lawyer to help them get the money their daughter was rightfully entitled to and that her first adoptive father meant for her to have.

Source: New York Daily News, “Court orders wealthy New York widow to give part of $250 million fortune to adopted daughter,” Dareh Gregorian, Feb. 15, 2013

FindLaw Network