Is there any way that I can share in my deceased father’s estate if his name is not on my birth certificate?

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Is there any way that I can share in my deceased father’s estate if his name is not on my birth certificate?

He and my mom had an affair while he was married and his family has no idea that I exist.

Asked on March 16, 2014 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you can share in your father's estate depends on a number of factors.  Number 1 is: Did he have a will?  If he did and he named his beneficiaries by name, as in I leave my estate to my son Tommy, then you have no claim.  If he did and it said: I leave my estate to all my children, in equal shares, then you may have a claim if you can prove he was your father, either through the testimony of your mother or through genetic testing.  This is going to be difficult without your father's DNA or blood sample (unless a doctor or hospital has some of his blood), but you may be able to test whether you and your half siblings are related.  If he had no will, then it will depend on your state's laws of intestate secession.


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