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Mother's baby, father's maybe! - Intestate succession: when should a child born out of wedlock have a right to inherit from or through his or her biological father?

Abstract

When the renowned chess genius Bobby Fischer died, his body was exhumed in order to determine whether his genetic samples matched samples from a child whose mother claimed he fathered outside of a marital union. Bobby Fischer was domiciled in Iceland and under Icelandic law, if there had been a genetic connection, the child would have been the sole legal heir of his intestate estate. The law is not so clear in the United States. Each state has enacted laws of intestate succession. While the laws in all fifty states provide that a child born out of wedlock is automatically his or her mother's legal child, state statutes vary substantially as to when that same child is entitled to an intestate inheritance from or through his or her genetic father.

If Fischer, the Chicago native, had been domiciled in North Carolina at his death, even if DNA had established a genetic relationship between Fisher and the child, the child would still have been precluded from inheriting her father's estate. In North Carolina, a biological or genetic connection is not enough to constitute a paternal legal heir without strict compliance with statutory formalities. In contrast, if Fischer had been domiciled in Georgia, and through clear and convincing evidence a genetic relationship was established, the child would inherit from her father's estate as his legal child. As one can see, in the United States, paternal inheritance depends on the state of the father's domicile. As such, when we discuss the out of wedlock child and his or her right to inherit family wealth through intestate succession, the old adage "Mother's baby, father's maybe" comes to mind.

In this paper, I suggest that each of the fifty states should, like Georgia and other similarly situated states, follow the trend of Icelandic law in the area of intestate succession. Specifically, where clear and convincing evidence (either before or after a father's death) determines that a father is the genetic parent of a child, and there has been no formal adoption of the child, such child should be entitled to an intestate share of his or her father's estate in the same manner as a child born to a married parents.

INTRODUCTION
   The renowned chess genius Bobby Fischer
   died intestate in 2008. (1) The Chicago native
   had renounced his American citizenship and at
   his death he was buffed in Iceland. (2) During the
   summer of 2010, officials exhumed his body
   to remove DNA samples. (3) Why? The mother
   of a nine-year-old child in the Philippines
   claimed that her daughter was Fischer's
   biological child. (4) His genetic samples were
   tested against samples taken from the child
   and her mother in order to determine the
   child's paternity. (5) Evidence suggested that
   Fischer had transferred money to the child's
   mother in 2006, 2007, and just before he died
   in 2008. (6) As such, Iceland's Supreme Court
   ruled that Fisher's body could be exhumed to
   collect genetic samples. (7) The exhumation was
   "professional" and attended by a physician,
   priest, and other officials. (8) After the
   exhumation, the remains were tested and it
   was determined that Fischer was not the
   child's father. (9)


The Bobby Fischer story generated heated discussions on the Internet. (10) If DNA had determined that Fischer was the child's father, she would have inherited his entire estate as his sole legal heir under Icelandic law. (11) While some individuals believed that the child should inherit from her biological father, (12) others suggested that "gold diggers" should not be rewarded. (13)

Icelandic law states that if the child is determined to be her father's genetic child, then she is his legal heir and she is entitled to inherit his intestate estate. (14) The law in the United States is not so settled for children born out of wedlock. In the United States, the laws of intestate succession are determined on a state level and each state has enacted intestate distribution statutes. (15)

The laws of intestate succession in all fifty states provide that a child born out of wedlock is automatically his or her mother's legal child. (16) Therefore, the child is eligible to inherit from or through his or her mother through intestate succession in the same manner as a child born into a marital union. (17) However, state statutes vary substantially as to when that same child is entitled to an intestate inheritance from or through his or her genetic father. (18)

In most jurisdictions, a child born out of wedlock does not have an automatic right to an intestate share of his or her father's estate. (19) The child's right to an inheritance may hinge on some required action of the father during the father's lifetime. For example, the father may be required to acknowledge his child during his lifetime, sign a written acknowledgment in the presence of a notary, file a document with the clerk of court, or perform some other deliberate act to establish a legal relationship and thus enable the child to inherit from or through him through intestate succession.

Currently, it is possible that an individual may be considered the child of his or her father in one state but not in another. (20) The variations among states can be seen when we compare the North Carolina and Georgia statutes. These state statutes represent two extremes. In North Carolina, an out-of-wedlock child may inherit from his or her father only if such child has been legitimized. (21) A child is legitimized when the parents subsequently marry, when there has been a formal adjudication, or when there is a writing signed by the father and acknowledged and recorded in the superior court of the county where the father or child is located. (22) Even if a parent-child relationship existed while the father was alive, if the statutory requirements are not met, the child is ineligible to inherit from his or her father or father's family through intestacy. And even if DNA established paternity during the father's lifetime, the child is still ineligible to inherit from the biological father if the statutory requirements are not met. In contrast, Georgia allows an individual who can prove paternity by clear and convincing evidence to inherit from his or her father. (23) A DNA test (even after the death of the father) is enough to provide such evidence even if there was no parent-child relationship between the individual and his or her biological father. (24)

If Fischer, a Chicago native, had been domiciled in North Carolina at his death, the child would have been precluded from inheriting Fischer's estate even if DNA had established a genetic relationship between Fischer and the child. In North Carolina, a biological or genetic connection is not enough to constitute a paternal legal heir without strict compliance with statutory formalities. In contrast, if Fischer had been domiciled in Georgia, and through clear and convincing evidence a genetic relationship was established, the child would have inherited from Fischer's estate as his legal child. As one can see, in the United States, paternal inheritance depends on the state of the father's domicile. As such, when we discuss the out-of-wedlock child and his or her right to inherit family wealth through intestate succession, the old adage "mother's baby, father's maybe" comes to mind.

In this Article, I suggest that each of the fifty states should, like Georgia and other similarly situated states, follow the trend of Icelandic law in the area of intestate succession. Specifically, where clear and convincing evidence (either before or after a father's death) determines that a father is the genetic parent of a child, and where there has been no formal adoption of the child," (25) such child should be entitled to an intestate share of his or her father's estate in the same manner as a child born in a marital union. I see no valid reason why there are still distinctions between children born out of wedlock and those born in a marital union. Specifically, I call on North Carolina and other jurisdictions with strict legitimation requirements to revise their statutes so as not to penalize the children of fathers who have not strictly complied with statutory requirements for legal parentage. (26) Strict legitimation requirements may violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Further, I ask why jurisdictions such as New York require open acknowledgment during the father's lifetime in order for an out-of-wedlock child to inherit as a legal child. These states hold on to outdated notions of fatherhood and paternity that may not be warranted for intestate succession. Ultimately, if paternity can be established to a degree of certainty within a set period of time, I see no legally valid reason to exclude a biological child from his or her father's estate.

Part I defines the out-of-wedlock child. This section discusses the history of illegitimacy, the purpose of intestacy statutes, and the historical inheritance rights of the child born out of wedlock. The issue of illegitimacy requires each of us to "call upon what we know in general about mothers, fathers, families, male-female relationships, [and] power relationships...." (27) This issue is not just about money; it is about "[r]ecognition of family." (28) The "distribution of property following the death of a family member carries with it not only economic benefits, but also, and perhaps as important, psychological benefits."

Part II questions whether all out-of-wedlock children should be treated the same when determining whether a child should inherit from or through his or her father. In other words, should paternal inheritance be based on a bright line genetic relationship or are other factors important. To help answer the question, I present various scenarios of out-of-wedlock births. In Part III, I discuss how the Supreme Court of the United States has analyzed the issue of inheritance and the out-of-wedlock child. I also look at North Carolina's statutory law and how North Carolina courts have required strict adherence to the statutory language, and I question whether North Carolina's statutes and similar statutes in other jurisdictions violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Part IV discusses various state legislative models and the Uniform Probate Code. I also opine on the concept of equitable legitimation. Part V concludes with my opinion that there is no reason to discriminate against a child based on the marital status of his or her parents.

I. Who is the Out-of-Wedlock Child?

A. The History of Illegitimacy

In this paper, I use the term out-of-wedlock to describe the child born to a nonmarital union; however, not so long ago, the accepted terms to describe such a child were "illegitimate" or "bastard." In fact, some state statutes still use these harsh labels to describe the out-of-wedlock child. (29) The labels are reminders that, historically, society has condemned the child for the sins of his or her parents.

Children born out of wedlock have been around from "time immemorial." (30) Scholars from many different fields in several countries have discussed this so-called moral and social problem for several generations. (31) Throughout history, the treatment of the child has been hypocritical. Prominent fathers have escaped judgment while their biological children suffered as social and legal outcasts. For example, King Henry VIII of England had four children within his marital unions, but he fathered at least one (and possibly four) children out of wedlock. (32) Additionally, several American Presidents are rumored to have fathered children outside of a marital union. President Harding's only child is supposedly the product of an extramarital affair. (33) DNA tests suggest that President Jefferson fathered at least one child with Sally Hemings, his mixed-race slave who was also his concubine after his wife's death. (34) And President Cleveland allegedly fathered a child while he was still a bachelor. Though he was unsure of the child's paternity, he allegedly supported both mother and child. (35) While these fathers may have been high profile individuals, their children were social outcasts.

"Both English common law and American law defined the child's legal relationship to his or her parents in the context of the parents' marital relationship to each other at the time of the child's birth or conception." (36) A child was "'legitimate' if at the child's birth or conception his or her parents were married to each other, but 'illegitimate' if they were not." (37) At common law, this child was known as "filius nullius--the child of no one." (38) The child was often "subjected to intense persecution and humiliation." (39)
   The bastard, like the prostitute, thief, and
   beggar, belong[ed] to that motley crowd of
   disreputable social types which society has
   generally resented, always endured. He [was]
   a living symbol of social irregularity, an
   undeniable evidence of contramoral forces; in
   short, a problem--a problem as old and
   unsolved as human existence itself. (40)


English common law provided no method to legitimize an illegitimate child. (41) Subsequent marriage of the child's mother and father did not legitimize the child. (42) Paternal acknowledgement could not legitimize the child. (43) An illegitimate child, "[e]ven if one or both parents had wealth," had "no guarantee of security." (44)
   [T]he law operated to deprive [that child] of
   the rights that derived from a traditional
   familial relationship. While the legitimate
   child had a right to his family name, a right to
   support from his family, and a right to inherit
   from his family, the common law denied the
   illegitimate child all of these rights. (45)


In the United States, the law complicated the issue of illegitimacy because certain children could never be legitimate because of their race. (46) It is no secret that slave owners had access to their slaves' bodies and "were often the fathers of [the slaves'] babies." (47) These mulatto offspring of the slave master were not his legitimate family. "From classical times slave children have been illegitimate in our cultural tradition." (48)

Although the labels used to describe out-of-wedlock children have softened, discrimination against the child based on the actions (or inactions) of the parents still exists today. A child may still be affected negatively because of the marital status of his or her parents. Disparities still exist between out-of-wedlock children and children born to a marital union when it comes to the right to inherit a father's property.

As early as 1966, Professor Harry D. Krause, a preeminent scholar on illegitimacy, recognized that while "our law has tangled with the problem of illegitimacy. [it has] not solved it." (49) He suggested that there was no excuse "to continue the disabilities and moral prejudices of another day at the expense of today's children and to perpetuate the ancient double standard by force of law." (50) Professor Krause stated that "[s]uch efforts should be statutory, not only because progress would be more rapid in this manner, but also because only broad, coordinated legislation can assure the uniformity that should be an incidental objective in order to eliminate the conflict of laws quagmire." (51)

Professor Krause proposed a Uniform Act on Legitimacy. He further stated that analyzing the actual relationship that the father and child had was too much of a burden to place on a court and that the illegitimate child "should be in the same position vis-a-vis his grandparents and other relatives as he occupies vis-a-vis his parents." (52) I agree with Professor Krause's reasoning made over forty years ago. Even if disparate treatment was valid at one time because of proof of paternity issues, such reasons are no longer valid. The time has come to eliminate the disparity between children born out of wedlock and those born into a marital union.

B. Illegitimacy and Intestate Distribution

Although any individual with legal and mental capacity has the ability to draft a will or will substitute, statistics suggest that most individuals do not draft these documents. (53) When an individual dies without a will, his or her estate passes through intestate succession. While there is no natural or absolute fight to an inheritance, all fifty states have statutes that outline the distribution of a decedent's estate through intestate succession when an individual does not create a will. (54) The state distribution schemes purport to represent how most individuals would have distributed their estate had they taken the time to draft a will. A decedent's estate is distributed to the presumed natural object of his or her bounty. (55)

"Intestacy and elective shares ensure that spouses and children retain a state-sanctioned share of the decedent's estate." (56) In all fifty states, a decedent's spouse and children take property to the exclusion of other relatives. (57) In all fifty states, the intestacy statutes provide that when a decedent dies without a surviving spouse or surviving parents, his or her children inherit the estate in entirety. (58) But just who constitutes a decedent's child is not so clear-cut. The child born of out wedlock may be negatively affected when it comes to the definition of "child" for purposes of intestate succession. In North Carolina, even when DNA has established a biological connection and there has been a parent-child relationship, the child is not his or her father's legal child unless the father takes formal steps required under the statutes. If the father does not take appropriate action, the biological child is not eligible to inherit from his estate as his legal child. (59) Additionally, several other states require that the father openly acknowledge his child during his lifetime in order for the child to inherit from his biological father's estate. I believe that these intestate succession statutes that require a father to take formal steps to acknowledge or legitimize a child before that child can legally inherit from him are remnants of the days of slavery and anti-miscegenation laws, when "fictions and presumptions about bastardy and marriage served definite purposes in a legal system seeking easy ways to determine who was eligible to inherit property." (60) There is no place for such strict requirements in modern law.

How did we arrive at this requirement that a father must affirm his biological child in order for the child to be his legal offspring? In both Europe and the United States, the legal family is a social construct. One theory as to why southern states in the United States required such action by the father is as follows: During the period of slavery in early American history, white master-fathers had legitimate families and illegitimate families. Nonwhite women bore the master-father's illegitimate or non-legal offspring. (61) The master-father simply added those children to the plantation labor force. (62) In contrast, "white women bore white children to continue the master's legacy." (63)

Since "[nonwhite women] were defined in statutes as chattel or real estate," (64) their children were also property. The slave child bore the status of his or her mother. Since slaves were not recognized as persons in courts of law, the slave child, despite being the child of the master, could not be recognized as his or her biological father's legal heir. In spite of the biological or genetic relationship between the master-father and his mixed race child, the law denied these mixed-race children a legal right to their biological father's inheritable bloodline. (65) "Rather than being recognized as beneficiaries or recipients as heirs at law of their [master-fathers], [the children] were deeded, leased, and devised in the same manner as real property." (66) A nineteenth-century case in Kentucky clarified this point when a judge in an inheritance case wrote, "[T]he father of a slave is unknown to our law...." (67) Even after slavery, the law :
   [C]urtailed the transfer of property across
   racial lines. By declaring marriages between
   blacks and whites illegal, the law thwarted a
   secure interest of black and mulatto
   beneficiaries in the estate of white testators.
   Without the protective status that marriage
   conferred, courts viewed interracial families as
   inherently illegitimate.... (68)


Similarly, in North Carolina, if a man is not willing to take formal steps to acknowledge his out-of-wedlock child in a writing filed in court or through an adjudicatory process, then he is not the legal father of the child, and the child may not inherit his intestate estate. Like the child of the slave woman, a child born out-of-wedlock in North Carolina is fatherless unless the father follows deliberate requirements to establish that he is indeed the father. There is no room for such legal gymnastics in today's society. No state should allow an individual to "hide behind the protections that law and legal fictions afforded." (69)

Scholars have argued for decades that children born out of wedlock should have the same rights as those who were born to a marital union. Some suggest that both classes of children are similarly situated but those born out of wedlock are being treated in a substantially different manner. (70) One of the traditional policy reasons for the different treatment had to do with issues of "morality and marriage." (71) Children were punished in order to punish the immorality of the parents. (72)

The law has progressed is some areas. "Modern intestacy statutes are generally more protective of nonmarital children than intestacy statutes in the past." (73) In all fifty states, a child is his or her mother's legal child regardless of whether the child was born into a marital union. Virginia was one of the first states to adopt legislation that allowed a child born out of wedlock:
   [T]o inherit from his [or her] mother and to
   transmit property by succession to his [or her]
   mother and collateral kindred on his [or her]
   maternal side. It removed the stigma of
   bastardy from the innocent issue of void
   marriages, as well as the issue born out of
   wedlock whose parents afterwards
   intermarried, provided such issue was
   recognized by the father as his child before or
   after marriage. (74)


Other states followed--"legitimizing" children if their parents subsequently married and allowing for maternal family intestate inheritance. But, even with the progression from the English common law rule and the Colonial-era statutes, there are still disparities between children born to a marital union and those born outside of a marital union in the area of paternal inheritance. The law of intestate succession "sorts and ranks relationships." (75) Therefore, remnants from the past have not been completely shattered. While a genetic relationship is enough to establish a legal relationship between a child and his mother, "[t]he genetic tie does not necessarily determine legal parentage" between a child and his or her father. (76) Without legal recognition, a child born out of wedlock may be barred from his or her paternal inheritance through intestate succession. (77)

The most common rationale for expanding maternal rights to the out-of-wedlock child had to do with the certainty of establishing motherhood. Since a child's relationship to "his [or her] mother is beyond doubt," (78) a child born out of wedlock is treated the same as his or her in-wedlock sisters and brothers when a mother's estate is distributed through intestate succession.

As rights were extended for maternal relationships, one reason given for not automatically allowing paternal rights had to do with the difficulty of proving paternity. "Since it is necessary that the heir should be one whose right could be ascertained, therefore marriage, an act capable of proof, could be relied upon as determining the heir." (79)

Now, with scientific advances, paternal relationships can also be determined with near-certainty. States such as Georgia have legislated that clear and convincing evidence of a biological relationship warrants a child recovering a share from the father's intestate estate. The reasoning makes sense. DNA has been used in criminal cases to acquit individuals (80) and to obligate fathers in child support cases. (81) Should it not apply to the transfer of wealth? Several states say no. For example, North Carolina states that DNA evidence alone is not enough to allow the biological child the right to an intestate share of his or her father's estate. (82)

Why have states not extended such intestate succession rights to out-of-wedlock children and their paternal relatives? (83) Are the requirements such as a writing filed in court or before a certifying officer prior to the father's death still warranted? Should it matter whether an individual claimed to be the father of the child during his lifetime?

I. Should All of A Father's Children be Treated the Same?

I believe that all children, whether born in or out of wedlock, should be treated the same when it comes to inheriting from or through their father's estate. I believe 'that each state should enact a bright-line rule for inheritance of children born out of wedlock to inherit from and though their fathers in the same way that each state has adopted such bright line rule for children born out of wedlock to inherit from and through their mothers, I maintain that when states do otherwise, they violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Others disagree with me. Some opine that only under certain circumstances should an out-of-wedlock child inherit from his or her father. Others suggest that even if the child has a right to inherit from the father, the child should not inherit through the father. (84)

Consider the following scenarios. Each involves a child born out of wedlock. As you read each scenario, ask yourself whether you think the child should be able to inherit from his or her biological father through intestate succession. Try to articulate the reasons for your decision.

SCENARIO ONE

Essie Mae was born in 1925. As an infant and toddler, Essie Mae lived up north with her African American aunt and uncle. She thought they were her parents. However, as a young girt, her aunt introduced Essie to her biological mother who happened to be the aunt's sister. On one occasion, as a young girl, Essie travelled south with her mother and aunt, and her mother introduced her to her father, a prominent white man who later became a United States Senator. Essie and her father met on various occasions throughout his lifetime. Essie learned that her mother was a maid for her father's family. Although her father contributed financially until she married, Essie was never formally legitimized. Her father, a staunch segregationist, never publicly acknowledged her. After his death, she confirmed what many already knew: that the prominent white politician was her father. (85) should she be able to inherit from his estate as one of his children? (86)

SCENARIO TWO

LaRhonda was born in 1961. Her father, a famous musician, picked her mother out of a crowd during one of his shows. She became his girlfriend. Her father and mother "broke up "' when her mother became pregnant. When LaRhonda was a child, her mother often pointed to the famous musician on the television and she would tell LaRhonda the he was her father. Although LaRhonda met the musician at concerts and spoke to him on the phone, he never acknowledged her during his lifetime. When her mother died, the musician informed her that he was not her father and asked what she wanted from him. When he died, a DNA test confirmed what her mother had told her--there was a 99.9 percent probability that the musician was her father. (87) Should she be able to inherit from his estate as one of his children? (88)

SCENARIO THREE

Shiloh was born in 2006, and she lives with her mother and father. Although her parents have never married, they live together and are in a committed relationship. Together they have three biological children and three adopted children. Shiloh and her father have been featured in pictures and magazines all over the world. Shiloh's father is a "hands-on" dad, so there is no need for any court-ordered child support. (89) Is their biological connection enough or should there be any additional requirements for Shiloh to be able to inherit through intestate succession from her father? (90)

SCENARIO FOUR

Gwen was born in 1972. When her father died, he was not married, was not survived by parents, and had no other children other than Gwen, who was his natural and biological daughter. Gwen and her father had a close and loving relationship. Gwen "s father publicly acknowledged that she was his daughter to his family, friends, and the general public. During his lifetime, Gwen and her father were tested by a DNA genetic paternity testing laboratory and it was determined to a greater than 99 percent level of certainty that he could not be excluded as her father. Gwen's father never went through formal written procedures to acknowledge Gwen as his daughter. At her father's death, should Gwen inherit his estate? (91)

SCENARIO FIVE

Diane was born in 1943. Her mother was raped by a distant relative. When she asked about her father, she received only vague answers. Diane learned her father's name when she was in her thirties and spoke to him on two occasions. When her father died, she was his only child, and he had no surviving spouse. A court order allowed her to exhume her father's body, and a subsequent DNA test showed a 99.9 percent probability that he was her father. (92) Should Diane inherit her father's estate? (93)

At common law, none of the children in the scenarios above would be able to inherit from anyone. (94) Further, "[u]ntil just over a century ago, Anglo-American law held that an illegitimate child was not entitled to support from either parent." (95) Currently, in the United States, all of the children in the above scenarios are automatically the legal children of their mothers. They can automatically inherit from, by, and through their mothers in the same manner as a child born in a marital union. But jurisdictions vary as to whether each of the above mentioned relationships result in the biological child's right to inherit from his or her father's estate. Is DNA testing sufficient? Is DNA testing necessary? Is formal acknowledgment necessary?

We can see from the above scenarios that there is no stereotypical out-of-wedlock child. Mainstream media remind us daily that "[t]he traditional ideal of a 'nuclear family,' made up of a married couple raising their children, is fading, down from 40 percent of all households in 1970 to less than a quarter by 2000." (96) "Marriage, long exalted as 'the foundation of the family and of society,' is no longer the unquestioned gateway to family creation." (97) "In America, at least one out of every three babies born is a non-marital child." (98) The percentages are even higher among racial and ethnic minorities." (99) "U.S. women under 30 who become pregnant for the first time are now more likely to be unmarried than married." (100) Children are born out of wedlock for many reasons, "including rapes, seductions, adultery, failed courtships, and long-term cohabitation." (101) The only commonality between the children is that the child's parents were not married at the time of the child's birth.

The Uniform Parentage Act "provides illegitimate children with a comprehensive statutory scheme through which they may enforce their right to support against the natural father." (102) Yet when it comes to issues of inheritance, in many jurisdictions the default rule is that an out-of-wedlock child is not entitled to an intestate inheritance unless the father takes formal steps. This perpetuates the assumption that such a child is "not usually part of a parent's family unit, and, hence, that the protection of [his or her] interests is somehow less important to society. The basis of this assumption is highly doubtful: many illegitimate children are treated as equal members of the family...." (103)

State statutes that place a greater burden on the out-of-wedlock child's right to inherit from his father than from his mother are based on gender stereotypes. Many fathers participate in the lives of their children. Why do we assume that biology means a relationship when it comes to the mother but not for a father?
   The government's decision to impose a greater
   burden on unmarried fathers than unmarried
   mothers perpetuates the stereotype that
   unmarried fathers always have less meaningful
   relationships with their children than
   unmarried mothers. ... If the stereotype that
   unmarried fathers are always absent and
   uninvolved were ever true, it is not true today.
   And that stereotype cannot justify treating
   fathers who have taken steps to establish a
   relationship with their children differently
   from mothers. (104)


I believe that the laws of intestate succession in every state should be changed so that, if the genetic parent-child connection can be established by clear and convincing evidence (either before or after the death of the father), then each child in the above-mentioned scenarios should be able to inherit from or through his or her father's estate. If, in the above scenarios, the father had had a will or a trust that devised a class gift to children or issue, then the out-of-wedlock child in each scenario should be considered a child for purposes of the class distribution. If the father had a previously drafted will or trust prior to the birth of the out-of-wedlock child, then the child should inherit as a pretermitted or afterborn child in the same manner as a child born into a marital union. I would even go so far to say that even if the paternal grandmother of the out-of-wedlock child devised a class gift to her grandchildren or issue, the out-of-wedlock child should count as any other of the grandmother's issue. (105)
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Title Annotation:Introduction through II. Should All of A Father's Children be Treated the Same? p. 531-558
Author:Davidson, Camille M.
Publication:Columbia Journal of Gender and Law
Date:Jan 1, 2012
Words:5586
Previous Article:Gay fathers: disrupting sex stereotyping and challenging the father-promotion crusade.
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