Disinheriting Deadbeat Parents
Typically, when a child dies without a will and does not have a spouse or children, his parents will inherit his property. The Oregon Probate Code does make certain exceptions.
Under the law, Parents were disinherited if they deserted their adult child for a period of ten years or neglected to care for their child for 10 years. Parents of minor children were disinherited if they willfully abandoned their children of the life of the child or for 10 years.
The New Oregon Probate Code that becomes effective January 1, 2016 adds another way to disinherit parents. ORS 112.047 is amended to read:
112.047. (1) Property that would pass by intestate succession under ORS 112.045 from the estate of a decedent to a parent of the decedent shall pass and be vested as if the parent had predeceased the decedent if: (a) The parental rights of the parent with respect to the decedent were terminated and the parent-child relationship between the parent and the decedent was not judicially reestablished.
Like most of what the Probate law tries to do, this addition tries to accomplish what most people would have wanted if they had gotten around to writing a will. Most people would not have wanted parents who abandoned them to inherit their property. The Oregon legislature as added language so that those who had their parental rights terminated would also not inherit property from their children.