Can a Child Inherit From Parents if They Are Not Married?
The great thing about a will or trust is that you can leave your property to anyone you want.  It is not necessary to sign a paternity statement or raise a child to leave property to that child.  That said, it is very important to affirmatively leave property to any child through a will or trust.  If a parent of an illegitimate child dies without a will, some states do not protect the child’s right of inheritance as strongly as if the child were born to married parents.  In Washington, if a parent  dies without a will, his/her illegitimate child is permitted to inherit regardless of whether the parents have been married.  But it is far easier for the child to inherit through a will, than by going to court and attempting to claim a share of an estate.  In short, if you want a child to inherit, regardless of the child’s legitimacy, leave the child property in your will or other estate planning device.