What Happens to a Child’s Rights After a Parent Passes Away?

Parents are trying to teach their children various life lessons from a young age. They constantly try to help them become confident, emotionally secure, and productive adults. But, no one ever prepares a child for the sudden death of a parent. Besides, not many people are fully aware of a child’s rights after they lose a parent.

These subjects can be tricky, especially if the parent in question is still alive. There’s no need to traumatize children with these topics. It’s essential to talk about this possibility with your partner and determine your kid’s rights. Still, if your child is grieving the death of another parent, it’s essential to decide how to provide support and help them overcome this emotional strain.

A child’s rights if there’s a will

If the deceased parent had left a valid will, all assets would have to be distributed according to the terms of the will. Your child is entitled to receive assets the other family member had left them, but in some cases, you or the child’s legal guardian will have to take care of these assets until the child becomes an adult.


In some cases, the deceased parent may leave more property to their children than they were allowed. For example, if you and your former spouse own a family house, your child can’t become the owner of the entire property without your permission. So, be sure to sort out these legal issues while the child is still young, so they don’t have to worry about it in the future.

A child’s rights if there isn’t a will

Of course, in some states, a child is not entitled to property or assets after a death of a parent, but that happens rarely. Even if there isn’t a will, your child has the right to claim a part of the assets of their deceased parent.


If you only have one child, keep in mind that you’ll have to share the assets in half. You will inherit one half of your deceased spouse’s estate, and your child will inherit the other half. What’s more, if you have two children, each of you will inherit one-third of their estate. Still, it’s advisable to study the law and determine all options before doing something that isn’t in your child’s interest.

A child’s right to contest the will

If a child is older, keep in mind that the child has the right to contest the will. In other words, if they have been excluded from the will, they have the right to make a complaint and take you or their other siblings to court. Of course, this can affect family relationships in the future, but if they believe they’ve been accidentally excluded, you will have to resolve this issue together.

A child’s right to stay with the surviving parent

If you and your partner have been common-law partners, the mother has the primary custody rights over the children. In other words, she has the complete authority to make any significant decisions regarding your child’s wellbeing. If the mother of your child has passed away, you might be entitled to child custody. This happens only if you take a paternity test.


But, if you and your partner have been married, the surviving parent is considered to be the child’s natural guardian. In other words, your child has the right to continue to live with you. Fortunately, you won’t have to participate in any legal disputes to receive custody of your child. If you have to go to court, it would be best to surround yourself with experienced family lawyers who can help you win the case and receive full custody.

A child’s right to live with other family members or guardians

If both parents are deceased, a child has the right to live with other family members or a guardian. Of course, this is a delicate matter that has to be taken to court. Sometimes two or more parties are trying to receive the custody of a child. If the child’s legal guardian wins the custody battle, they will be obligated to take care of that child. As a result, the child will have to adjust to a new home and stay with their legal guardian. If two or more parties are involved, the children will stay with those who can provide financial and emotional support.


The death of a parent can emotionally scar your children, especially if they’re still young. It’s your obligation to do what you can to comfort them and ease their pain. Make sure to take care of the legal issues after the funeral. If you’re struggling to get full custody of your child, definitely talk to your child about the upcoming events. They need to understand that their life will inevitably change in the next few months. Be supportive and do whatever you can to support your child’s interest, even if they aren’t fully aware of what’s happening or don’t know how to cope with stress.