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Men: How to Protect the Inheritance Rights of Your Children Born Out of Wedlock

Most people are shocked to learn that North Carolina children born out of wedlock (their parents are not married to each other) will not inherit from their father, unless he creates a will or other estate plan, or has been declared the father in certain court proceedings. Being listed as the father on a birth certificate is not enough. Men, if your child was born outside of marriage, you must take legal action to ensure your child inherits from you.

Understanding the Inheritance Laws for Children Born Out of Wedlock

About 40% of children in North Carolina are born to parents who are not married. Our state’s inheritance laws, however, require certain legal action to be taken before a child can inherit from his or her father. This means that a lot of children are not eligible to inherit from their own father! Don’t let this happen to your children.

Securing Inheritance Rights for Your Children

Men, you can ensure that your children born out of wedlock are not left out. Here's how you can make it happen:

  1. Create a Will: A will allows you to specify exactly who should inherit your assets.

  2. Set up a Trust: A trust can give you even more control over how your assets are distributed, offering potential tax advantages and privacy benefits.

  3. Designate Beneficiaries: Certain assets, like life insurance policies and retirement accounts, allow you to name beneficiaries. You can include your children as beneficiaries to ensure they receive these assets.

Don’t Leave Your Children Out in the Cold

Our Orange and Chatham County will and trust attorneys can guide you through the process, ensuring that all your loved ones are protected. Contact our Chapel Hill law firm at 919-376-2361 and we’ll help you build an estate plan that reflects your wishes and takes care of your family.

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