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A DNA test for probate is a common search term for families that have to grapple not only with the loss of a loved one, but the possibility of including or excluding those who argue that they are part of the family.

Nowadays Courts recognise that scientific reports play a part in modern litigation. DNA testing is seen as a useful and practical step in the process, particularly where it could lead to a resolution of the case.

In the landmark Nield-Moir v Freeman (2018) case, the Court ordered a daughter to take a DNA paternity test to prove her claim to inherit her father’s estate. The father, Colin Birtles, had died in 2013 without making a Will, leaving behind two daughters, Janice Nield-Moir and Lorraine Freeman. Under the Intestacy Rules, his two daughters stood to share his estate equally. However, Mrs Nield-Moir alleged that Mrs Freeman was not Mr Birtles’ biological daughter and provided several witness statements to the Court to this effect. She asked the Court to order that Mrs Freeman take a DNA paternity test to prove that she was entitled to a share of Mr Birtles’ estate, otherwise Mrs Nield-Moir would inherit the whole estate.

The Court agreed to grant the order for DNA testing, accepting that ‘if science can help, then it should’. If Mrs Freeman wishes to secure her inheritance, she will have to submit to a DNA test to prove that Mr Birtles was her biological father. Should it transpire that Mr Birtles was not, she will not be entitled to a share of his estate under the laws of intestacy.

This case clearly demonstrates the interplay between scientific reports and the conduct of litigation in the modern world. And the lengths parties will go to to contest a Will. To avoid conflict, AlphaBiolabs has seen a demand for individuals to file their single genetic profile alongside their will before they die. The solicitor will then have the necessary information at hand should there be any dispute.

AlphaBiolabs offers a range of DNA relationship tests that can be performed to prove direct biological relationships. These include paternity, maternity, grandparent, aunt, uncle and sibling DNA tests. Y chromosome testing is another option that can be used to prove that alleged male relatives share a common paternal line.

DNA testing after death

If the individual has only recently deceased, mouth swabs can be used to collect DNA from inside their cheeks. Alternatively, viability studies can be undertaken to analyse the deceased’s nail clippings or used toothbrush to see if a DNA profile can be retrieved. If it can, the relevant DNA relationship test can be performed.

All these DNA tests and viability studies can be either Peace of Mind or Legal, depending on what the results are needed for. Legal tests are performed under chain of custody conditions to ensure the results are legally defensible. Our legal DNA testing can be provided with next day results that are accepted in UK courts and can be used for probate purposes.

Enquire about a DNA test for probate

To find out which DNA relationship test is right for your particular case, please call our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email us at info@alphabiolabs.com

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