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  • Writer's pictureSarah Morris Ocampo

Do Half or Step Children Inherit?

Intestate succession is when someone passes away without an estate plan, then the court has to look to the statutes to determine who will inherit. Those statutes are called intestate succession statutes. Let’s look specifically at how half siblings and stepchildren had an effect on intestate succession. If you do not have a will or a trust in place and you pass away, then the court looks to the statutes. In Nevada, the statutes say that half siblings have the same rights as full siblings, so they would inherit in the same way that a full sibling would.

An example of this is if there is a husband and wife and it’s his second marriage, he has three children from his first marriage and two children with his current wife. He has a total of five children. If he passes away without a will or a trust, then his estate would be inherited equally by the five children as well as his spouse. So those five children will inherit equally, even though some of them are half siblings.

When we talk about stepchildren, stepchildren are not half siblings, and they will not inherit the same way, they don’t inherit at all. There are no intestate succession rights on stepchildren. You may have a close relationship with your stepchild, but if you do not have an estate plan in place providing for that stepchild, then they will not inherit anything. This is one of the reasons it’s very important to have an estate plan in place in general, because you want to be in control of who gets what. When you pass away, you don’t want the court to just rely on the statute to determine that because every family has people that is different and has people that maybe you don’t want to get as much, or maybe you want somebody to get all of it or the lion’s share of it. This is why estate plans are so important, you don’t want to rely on the statute.

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