Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, November 2, 2015

Florida Court Holds That Adoption Did Not Change Inheritance Rights

New life insuranceIn Lubin v. AT&T Ret. Sav. Plan, a Florida court held that a child that was adopted out of a family was not excluded from benefiting from a father’s life insurance policy.  Under Florida law a child that is adopted becomes a child of the adopted parent and ceases to be the child of the biological parent.  At issue in this case was a life insurance plan that contained default rules stating that a biological child would be entitled to receive from the plan as a beneficiary. 

The court decided that even though the adopted child was no longer considered a child of the biological parent under Florida law, they could still benefit from the life insurance policy.  “The Court refused to interpret the definition of “child” as provided under Florida law, as in the Court’s view this would add to the Plan’s exclusionary language the further exclusion that Florida law would add.”  

See Kathy Sherby and Stephanie Moll, When Is An Adoption Not Effective To Change Inheritance Rights?, Bryan Cave, October 27, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.


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