Aging In Michigan - March 2022

COA Protects DNA in Inheritance Case

A recent case from the Michigan Court of Appeals tells the story of a man who tried to claim an inheritance by proving that he was a biological child of the man who died.

To prove his case, the purported son, tried to obtain DNA evidence of the decedent, but because the dead man had been cremated, the person claiming to be his son had to look elsewhere for that proof.  Specifically, his lawyer sought a court order which would require the dead man’s sister to role up her sleeves and give them something to test.

Sister refused, but the probate court in Kalamazoo County went along with the plan and told the sister she would have to share her DNA with the man claiming to be her nephew.

The Court of Appeals, however reversed the trail court, holding that under Michigan law, the purported son had a right to test the DNA of the decedent, if it could have been recovered, but not the sister or other family members.


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