DNA testing for inheritance claims
DNA testing for inheritance claims is increasingly common. Slee Blackwell’s contentious probate team has extensive experience in arranging DNA testing to support inheritance claims. To find out more call our free legal helpline on 0808 139 1606 or email us at [email protected]
It is often the case that a father is not named on a child’s birth certificate. If a child then needs to prove paternity when their father passes away either in order to proceed with a claim or to claim their share of the estate under intestacy, DNA testing can be essential.
Who can be tested?
The party seeking to establish paternity must be tested. They must be tested against a blood relative. Quite often, the deceased’s DNA will not be held on file and so our client cannot be tested directly against the deceased. It is however possible to test against a sibling of full blood or another relative. The two most common types of tests are sibling tests and relationship tests.
A sibling test is a kinship test used to see whether two individuals have the same mother and/or father, for example to confirm whether they are full or half siblings or, whether they are unrelated. Full siblings are people who have the same biological mother and father. Half siblings are people who share one biological parent, either mother or father.
Unrelated means people do not share either a biological parent or are not related in any other way.
A relationship test is a kinship test which is specifically used to see whether two individuals are related. This can be a grandparent against a grandchild or, an uncle or aunt against a niece or nephew.
How are the tests carried out?
We have a number of DNA testing agencies who we work with. They will arrange for each party to provide a mouth swab at an approved clinic. The swabs are then returned to the laboratory and are DNA profile tested. We then receive a report from the DNA company confirming whether or not the parties are related.
Who pays for the DNA test?
This is a matter for the parties to decide. Ultimately, if an agreement cannot be reached, the court will decide. It is commonplace for the estate to fund the DNA testing, but it can be on the condition that if it is inclusive or the DNA proves the parties are unrelated, the party seeking to prove the DNA funds the cost of the test.
Do the parties need to attend the same clinic?
No, we have acted for parties where one is overseas and the other is in England. The DNA testing providers can arrange clinics worldwide and will arrange for the samples to be safely transported by approved couriers to their laboratory before testing and reporting.
How much does it cost?
This is based on individual cases, but can range from £200 – £500 on average.
For further guidance on DNA testing for inheritance claims please do not hesitate to call our designated contentious probate line on 0808 139 1606 or send us an email.