Construction and Interpretation

The question of the rights of inheritance of adopted persons has a long history in this Commonwealth. Until 1855, adoption needed the approval of the state legislature. Then the legislature got out of the adoption business, moving it to the judicial system. The Wills Acts of 1855, 1887, 1889 and 1911 all stated that adopted

Whom are a person’s heirs? Heirs are those who inherit a decedent’s property if he or she dies without a will. The law has long established that a surviving spouse has a right to receive a share, and then children, or other lineal descendants, inherit. If there are no lineal descendants, then parents are heirs

When I draft wills and trusts I always include definitions of "child" and "descendant:"

"For purposes hereof, the term "child," however expressed, shall refer to any descendant in the first degree of the parent designated. The term "descendant," however expressed, shall include (i) children or more remote descendants, either naturally born or legally adopted, but