DNA testing is increasingly being relied upon to prove biological relationships when wills are contested. AlphaBiolabs is proposing that solicitors actively request that their client supply their single DNA profile to keep on file with their will. In this way, the solicitor has the information to hand should there be any need to prove inheritance.

Providing a DNA sample is a very simple process. A mouth swab just needs to be rubbed on the inside of your client’s cheek to collect buccal cells. For legally defensible results, this needs to be done by a trained sample collector to ensure chain of custody is maintained. Results are available the next day after the laboratory receives the sample. This DNA profile can then be safely filed along with the client’s will.

Legal single genetic profiles cost just £250 for next day results.

The alternative method is to collect DNA from your client once they have passed away. This can be a more complicated procedure and involves:

  • collecting DNA via a mouth swab, if the person has recently deceased, or
  • undertaking a viability study to determine whether a DNA profile can be retrieved.

Viability studies

AlphaBiolabs undertakes two types of viability study: toothbrush and nail clipping analysis. If our DNA scientists can get hold of your client’s used toothbrush, they can analyse this to see if a DNA profile can be retrieved. If so, a peace of mind DNA relationship test can be performed, such as paternity, maternity, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling and Y chromosome testing.

To ensure legally defensible results, nail clippings 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. They could 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. Back at our laboratory, if our DNA scientists can retrieve a DNA profile, a legal DNA relationship test could be undertaken.

To find out more about single genetic profiles and which DNA relationship test is right for your particular case, please call our Customer Services team on 0333 600 1300 or email us at