Three Estate Planning Considerations for Parents with Adopted Children


Estate planning for families with adopted children may present unique challenges, particularly when it comes to guardianship choices, creating a trust, inheritance rights and other financial considerations.

Creating a Trust

If you have an adopted child, particularly if it is an open adoption, creating a trust is an important estate planning consideration, as there may be a number of people outside your immediate family, such as the child’s birth parents, who have a direct interest in your child’s life. Holding assets for your child in a trust under the control of a trustee, whom you have chosen, will help to protect your child’s interests and will ensure that your assets will be used directly for your child’s benefit.


When designating a guardian, it is important that he or she understand your family’s circumstances. You will want to choose a person who knows the details of your family’s adoption and is willing to maintain the lifestyle that you have chosen for your adopted child. It may be a good idea to leave the designated guardians documentation that provides all the details of your child’s adoption. You should choose a guardian who is comfortable with the terms of your adoption, particularly if you had an open adoption, then you will want to choose a person who is open to maintaining this relationship with the child’s biological parents.

Special Provisions

Caring for an adopted child may require you to put some extra thought into a number of special provisions. If, for example, you adopted a child internationally and wish to expose the child to his/her home culture, then your Will and Trust should reflect these desires. In order to ensure that these wishes are carried out, you should consider making provisions in your Trust that specify your desires.

Call for More Information!

Work with an estate planning attorney who knows the laws, can explain and present your options, and assist you in making the best choices for your family.  You can call our office for more information, or you can attend one of our upcoming estate planning workshops.

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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