I am my father's only daughter, recently he passed away and my stepmother swiped all his money. it is now found out that my stepmom never legally married my dad and because of this she is now trying to keep me from inheritance because at 18 I was adopted by my grandmother because she was providing for my college and my father couldn't. am I entitled to anything?
2 Answers from Attorneys
I'm afraid not, at least not directly. Adoption severs all legal rights between parent and child and establishes them between adoptive parent and child. This does not mean, however, that the step-mother gets it, especially if she never married your dad. If you were an only child and were adopted out of your father's list of heirs, then his estate goes to his parents. So if the grandmother who adopted you was his mother (as opposed to your mother's mother) it goes to her if she is still living. If she is no longer living, it probably but not absolutely would go to you as your father's LEGAL sister! So as you can see, this is pretty complicated and you should have all the facts and details reviewed by a probate attorney right away.
You need to repost your question in the category for probate. A lot of the answers to your questions depend on issues such as whether there was a will, a trust, or how property was held. Then there are other issues, such as the adoption, and California law has exceptions for every general rule.