My husband took a paternity test this week and confirmed he has a 23 year old child. She was adopted by another man at the age of 10. I wanted to create a will to protect my children if my husband an I should both die. Does my huband have to name this newly proven adult child in his will and disenherit her from any claim to the estate or can he just leave her out of the will totally and list that he has 3 children that are to split te estate?
3 Answers from Attorneys
Thank you for your question. To be sure, your husband would absolutely need a will because if he should die the 23 child would take on equal basis with his other children. Second, in Illinois, a Will must be specific if you wish to not include a child in it. So, yes, the will must be specificly written to not include the newly discovered child.
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The above advice is excellent. The law has been in something of a shift in this regard so the best policy is to name the child and disinherit the child regardless of the state of the current law on the subject. You can't go wrong doing it that way. Leaving it to chance may result in an undesired result. You should be aware, however, that your husband's estate may still be liable for any unpaid or claimed child support that a court may award at this juncture assuming that was the basis for the recent DNA testing.
You and your husband need to speak with an attorney in your area to begin work on creating wills for each of you: it's impossible to determine who will die first, or how long the surviving spouse will survive the first to die. Without carefully written wills the outlier child is a beneficiary of intestate assets, sharing equally with the children of your marriage at the death of your husband.
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