Victoria, TX asked in Civil Litigation, Probate and Estate Planning for Texas

Q: There is a young man in my family that we have all considered a nephew recently we have found out that someone else is

On his birth certificate as the father. The young man does resemble my deceased brother so genetically it's possible. What is his right to inherit

1 Lawyer Answer
Dillon B Norton
Dillon B Norton
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Houston, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: A loved one's passing is never easy, and I'm sorry for your loss. This question is hard to answer without knowing whether your brother left a will or not. Yous should consult a probate attorney to assist you with this matter. One way to establish paternity is through genetic testing. If your brother had paternity established through a court for another child, then his DNA could still be on file with a screening center as they often hold on to DNA samples for a few years after testing. If so, then contacting a reputable screening center and going through the proper procedures with the alleged nephew might be possible if the above scenario is true. Also, your brother may have a tissue sample on file if an autopsy was performed.

Hypothetically speaking, if your brother had a will naming his family members who shall benefit from his estate, and the alleged nephew is not named as a beneficiary, then he likely won't receive anything, unless he was born AFTER the will was signed and your brother's paternity is established - then maybe. No guarantees.

If your brother did not have a will, and paternity is established, then it's possible that the alleged nephew could have a right to inherit. Contacting a probate attorney is highly recommended.

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