Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in North Carolina

My dilemma/ need options: (NC Case): My father is deceased in July 2016. He is not on my birth certificate and my mother never brought court action against him. I was acknowledged as his daughter in various ways by him, my sister and stepmother my entire life even staying with them). However, immediately upon his burial - in order to inherit everything they stated I have to prove I am his daughter and over the 18 years of age.

What are my legal options/ lawyers I should contact if all of the following hold true?

1) Life insurance policies (I have 4 policies along with his job's 401K that he has listed me as his daughter since our last discussion) 2) Multiple obituaries that have listed me as his daughter

3) Affidavits of paternity/acknowledgement from my father's, mother's and my stepmother's side of the family

4) Video tape of the funeral service with many county commissioners and board of education and clergy witnessing the acknowledgement of me as his daughter

5) Audiotapes of his voice acknowledging himself as my children's grandfather

6) Electronic email and photo transmissions acknowledging me as his daughter and my children as his grandfather

Asked on 9/05/16, 4:31 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Obituaries are meaningless. To inherit probate assets you need to prov paternity by DNA evidence in a court of law. Non-probate assets like life insurance are different. You fill out a claim form if you are the named beneficiary; you don't need t o establish paternity.

Affidavits of paternity from others do not count. You need something signed and notarized by your father or else you need to prove paternity in court. Audio tapes are irrelevant as is electronic media.

I suggest you see a probate litigation attorney to help you establish paternity now if there are probate assets.

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Answered on 9/06/16, 11:17 am

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