Trust and Estate: The Precautionary Addendum and Inheritance

September 10, 2012

By: Edward C. Radin

The not-yet-extinct distinction between adopted and biological remaindermen

For nearly half a century, the right of adopted child to inherit from and through the adoptive parent or parents has been absolute and unequivocal. Under Domestic Relations Law (DRL) § 117, which derived from DRL § 115 and DRL former § 114, adopted children will have the same inheritance rights as biological children. This principle, however, was not always so clear. The “Precautionary Addendum” may affect dispositions to adopted remaindermen where the disposition is through the will of an individual who died before March 1, 1964, or through lifetime trust agreements that were originally irrevocable or became irrevocable before that date.

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Reprinted with permission of The Daily Record ©2012, September 11, 2012