Paternity tests for inheritance rights

Paternity tests for inheritance rights

A paternity test for inheritance rights is usually needed when a father has passed away and a son or daughter need to prove they are heirs to the deceased. The usual method of paternity testing involves collecting DNA from an individual’s cheek cells using a mouth swab. However, once an individual has passed away the mouth swab method of DNA collection cannot be used. If the father has passed away recently, AlphaBiolabs offers an alternative method of nail clipping DNA testing. Extensive trials by our in-house analysts have proven both finger nails and toe nails to be a good source of DNA. Alternatively, other family members could be DNA tested to prove a biological relationship.

Nail DNA testing for inheritance rights

Viability studies would need to be undertaken on the deceased’s nail clippings to see if a DNA profile can be achieved. If DNA can be analysed, a legal paternity test can be performed to help prove a biological relationship in the case of probate or will disputes. Consent needs to be provided for all samples that are sent in to be analysed. Next of kin or another qualifying relative can sign consent for an individual who has died.

The nails would need to be collected by one of our trained sample collectors, funeral directors or occasionally by coroners. The sample collector must sign the sample collector declaration and a copy of the death certificate may need to be sent in as a form of ID.

To ensure legally defensible results, the nail samples would need to be collected under chain of custody conditions. This means that the nail samples do not leave the custody of those who are legally responsible for ensuring the authenticity of the DNA testing results.

Family DNA testing for inheritance rights

If a paternity test can’t be undertaken on a father, alternative DNA relationship tests with other family members can be undertaken to establish a direct biological relationship.

Since a child inherits half of his or her genetic profile from each biological parent, when a child’s father is unavailable for testing, AlphaBiolabs can look to the grandparents to determine if they contributed DNA to the child’s genetic profile. These Grandparent DNA tests involve producing a DNA profile for each individual taking part in the test. A link can thus be proved (or disproved) between a child and one or more of their father’s parents.

In the same way, avuncular testing can be performed. DNA aunt testing or DNA uncle testing on the father’s sister or brother could establish a biological relationship to a child. DNA sibling testing is also a possibility whereby this test can establish whether or not brothers and sisters have the same father.

For these legal DNA testing options, trained sample collectors follow strict chain of custody conditions. To confirm the correct person has provided the sample, they will inspect ID, take photographs and check the signed consent forms. All AlphaBiolabs DNA testing is provided with next day results as standard.

More information about paternity tests for inheritance rights

To get more information on nail DNA testing, or 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

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