Asked in Adoption and Probate for New Mexico

Q: BIO father abanded me & died. Funeral home says I needed to sign to release body. Am I liable/entitled to anything?

He was never married; no common law in New Mexico--had Girlfriend of 15+ years; he never paid a dime of child support. I am 44 yrs old in Rhode Island born out of wedlock; father abandoned my mom when she was 3 months preg. in Rhode Island (never showed up the wedding rehearsal the night before the wedding that he insisted on having); Father moved/died in New Mexico; (raised by GP prior to 8) He Signed legal adoption for mom her husb when I was 10 ( but not my birth cert).As far as anyone knows I am his only child. The funeral director said I need to sign for the release of his body into cremation (I did). I don't know where to start or what to do. We had no type of relationship. I tracked him down and called a few times over the past few years but the girlfriend hung up on me. Probate judge said to fill out paperwork. Am I entitled to anything if I have to sign for release of his body? Do not know if there is a will. Would I be liable for funeral costs? Left over bills to creditors?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Oklahoma City, OK

A: You need to contact an experienced probate lawyer in your father's state. If I understand your statement correctly, you were the man's biological son but another person adopted you when you were a child. In some states, an adopted child can inherit from both his adopted and biological parents. You would not be personally liable for your father's debts but they might have to be paid from his assets. An experienced probate lawyer in your father's state can answer these and other questions. Many offer free initial consultations. Good luck.

PS: My comments here are for General Information only and are not legal advice about your specific situation, nor do they create an attorney-client relationship between us. Contact a lawyer in your state for legal advice.

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