An illegitimate child is one who was conceived and born out of wedlock, born of bigamous marriage, of adulterous relations, or born of couples below 18 years old, whether the parents were married (and which marriage is void) or not. Unless the child’s biological parents marry each other later on and file a legitimation for the child’s birthright to be commuted to legitimate, the child shall remain illegitimate all his or her life.
Apart from the concern on whether an illegitimate child may use his or her father’s last name, another compelling issue that parents of illegitimate children need to tackle is the child’s right to inheritances from either or both parents. What does our law say about this?
Are illegitimate children entitled to inheritances from their parents?
According to the Civil Code, an illegitimate child is considered a Compulsory Heir. They cannot be disregarded as entitled to a parent’s property that the latter cannot dispose of because the law has reserved it for compulsory heirs. Such properties are called legitime.
Yes, an illegitimate child is entitled to receive inheritances from his or her parent/s. The law says so.
How are the inheritances divided between a legitimate and an illegitimate child?
Article 895 of the Civil Code states that illegitimate children are entitled to receive half of what legitimate children are entitled to. The portions are best determined with the assistance of a lawyer so if you ever find yourself in this predicament (whether you are the legitimate or illegitimate party), make sure you have a competent lawyer with you.
Of course, in order to be recognized as an heir, you need to be able to show proof that you are indeed the child of the benefactor. Your birth certificate is the best (and most powerful) document that should attest to your filiation. Make sure your birth certificate bears the correct and accurate details of your birth and lineage to avoid delays in your transactions later on.