Hmmm… Ugly Betty. The last show was actually pretty good, it’s been going downhill since the strike.
IANAL, blah, blah. That bit in the show struck me as odd.
You can leave your money to whomever or whatever you want. The legal beagles will give you some warnings; if you “forget” someone in your will, you have to say why. (Joan Crawford, IIRC, did that to her adopted children - one final blow from the grave) There are ways to challenge a will, so you have to be sure that you don’t leave evidence that you were unduly influenced by one possible heir over another, etc. You MUST provide for dependent children - you can’t get out of child support even by dying.
An adult child has no claim over parents onc no longer dependent. And a child adopted out (as I assume happened in the show) loses any legal right to claim child support; the adopted parents supplant the real parents obligations. At any rate, child support claims expire when the child is 18 or finishes college - no longer dependent.
Whether there was some child support obligation because the father did not know and therefore never signed away rights during adoption, I don’t know. That’s a question for real lawyers. I suspect most places ahve a statute of limitations (since that case in the 90’s) where a parent who says nothing for 2 years cannot come back and claim a child. Regardless, an adult child has no claim for support or anything from a parent. And you can’t go for “back pay” support - most cases I’ve heard of, generally against the mother, say if she wanted support from way abck when she should have asked for it way back when.
So a better plot device - although it wouldn’t work in this situation - would be to have the child appear after the father’s death and demand a share of the inheritance. then, the logic before the court would be “if he had known about this son, he would have provided for him.” and the will would be invalidated… That scenario doesn’t work in this case.