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WV Supreme Court denies inheritance for children of parents with no parental rights, will


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — In a 3-2 decision, the West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that children in the Mountain State can’t inherit from a biological parent’s estate if that parent doesn’t have a will and dies after their parental rights have been terminated.

Justices upheld the ruling from a Mercer County circuit court judge, who ruled the daughter of a man who died in 2011 couldn’t inherit her father’s estate because his parental rights had been terminated for alleged sexual abuse against her.

The justices ruling in the majority said the state’s inheritance laws don’t clearly define children’s rights in such situations, and the law doesn’t provide clear support otherwise for a child to inherit from their biological parent in that situation, justices said in the opinion filed Friday.

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