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Posts Tagged ‘coroner’

The Importance Of DNA In Estate Planning

posted by DNA Identifiers @ 11:35 AM
Friday, July 27, 2012

Regardless of net worth, it is important for all individuals to have a basic estate plan in place.  This can be done with a family attorney or there are many online legal aid sites that can assist you in creating the proper document. Most often the biological children of deceased individuals have inheritance rights, DNA is being used more and more when estates are in question.

In some cases, previously unknown children can appear to claim part of the estate. Or, a greedy or unhappy family members may claim that a beneficiary is not a biological descendant of the deceased person. Depending on the timing of the claim, defending this claim could require exhumation or testing of autopsy specimens, neither of which is a pleasant process and which can be an expensive process.

DNA has emerged as a common tool in modern human identification and has magnificent and unparalleled applications in modern society. The best defense is a strong offense. In many cases proper legal registration of your DNA profile with your estate planner or attorney will help ensure legal and rightful administration of your estate, should the need arise.

The DNA relationship testing market has been growing steadily over the last twenty years.  Prices are decreasing and the easy of testing is increasing. Today, it is projected that the annual number of persons that will participate in some type of paternity or extended relationship test will exceed 1 million. In sharp contrast, it is estimated that less than 200,000 persons were tested in 1988. The increased demand for DNA testing has been fueled by greater public awareness of the power of DNA and the affordability and easy access to testing.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 2007 was a record year for births in the United States, there were 4,315,000 recorded births. Experts think that the increase has to do with a range of factors, including immigrants having more children, professional women delaying pregnancy until their 40s and a larger population of women in their 20s and 30s. These factors, coupled with the fact that 38.5% of all U.S. births in 2006 were from unwed mothers translates into an increasing need for education of families about the importance of knowing ones biological parents.

About DNA

DNA is the map of life and defines the essence of our individuality. Despite the size of the human genome, over 3.2 billion genetic markers, 99.9% of the DNA in all unrelated people in the world is identical. Thus, the vast differences observed in the human race are created from the minute differences in only 0.1% of DNA. An individual’s DNA can contain valuable information to help the lives of present and future generations. Locked in our DNA code are the secrets of our ancestry and medical conditions that scientists are only now beginning to understand.

PATERNITY

It is natural for families to want to know who the biological father of their baby is. Nationwide, approximately 30% of tested men are excluded as the biological father.  That means that 3 out of 10 test comes back as a negative result for paternity. A child has the right to the sense of identity that comes from knowing who both biological parents are. Knowledge of a child’s biological heritage is also very important in understanding future possible health risks. In addition, determining paternity gives a child legal right to receive financial support from the father and to inherit from the father.  This is the same if the mother is unknown.  In an era when adoption is a popular option it is important to remember that more and more people do not know either biological parent.

RELATIONSHIP TESTING

Relationship DNA testing can determine if a long lost brother or sister, grandparent, aunt or uncle is truly related to the family in question. DNA testing can also reveal if twins are identical or fraternal. Modern DNA testing can provide answers for a new world of relationships. Paternity testing can also be performed indirectly by testing relatives of an alleged father.

FORENSIC PATERNITY

If a person is deceased or unavailable for testing which is often the case in the question of estate settlement, forensic DNA testing can be an invaluable tool.  DNA can be found on evidence that is decades old. Common sources of forensic DNA evidence include: fingernail clippings, hair with roots or follicles, chewing gum, used beverage containers, eyeglasses, hats, lickable stamps or envelopes, teeth, post mortem tissue, a toothbrush, or cigarette butt.  The results that can be looked for from each item differs and it is best to contact your laboratory to see what items they recommend. For more infomation on DNA testing and how it can asssit you please contact DNA Identifiers.  Remeber regardless of you net worth it is important to have an estate plan in place and DNA can be an important part of your plan.

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