NYS Law Update – Termination Of Parental Rights Terminates Inheritance Right Of Parent

A Parent Who Loses Rights to Child Also Loses Inheritance Right in NY

On July 26, 2006 Governor Pataki signed into law (chapter 285) a new EPTL, 4-1.4.

This new law provides that a parent whose parental rights to a child were terminated under Social Services Law § 384 (b) is disqualified from sharing in intestacy in any distributive share of the child’s estate (a person who dies in intestacy has no will, and his or her relatives identified under ETPL 4-1.1 share in that deceased person’s estate).

The effect of this new law is to prevent a parent who was found to have abused a child from sharing in that child’s estate. The statute continues to provide for a parent’s disqualification where the parent is found to have abandoned or failed to support the child during his or her minority.