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To establish paternity after the death of the putative father the evidence must be clear, strong, and unequivocal.
Appellants alleged a claim of right as lineal descendants to share in a decedent's intestate estate. Appellants claimed that their mother was in fact the daughter of the decedent, which would have made the decedent appellants' grandfather. Appellants asserted this claim even though appellants' grandmother was married to a different man when appellants' mother was born, which would have meant that appellants' mother was illegitimate. The trial court held that the evidence was insufficient to support appellants' claim of right. Appellants challenged the decision.
Did the appellants present sufficient evidence to support their claim of right to share in a decedent's intestate estate?
The court affirmed the decision of the trial court. There was evidence that at least three different men may have been the father of appellants' mother. However, appellants had not overcome the strong presumption of their mother's legitimacy. The court also questioned appellants' standing to make claims about their mother's paternity or to bastardize their mother to prove that they were the decedent's lineal descendants.