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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
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    2

    Default How Do You Prove Paternity After a Father's Death

    My question involves paternity law for the State of: Illinois

    I will try to make this quick but get all details in.

    I am from Iowa, moved to Chicago after college for my first job. Met a man and we became pregnant. I had her in Illinois and lived with him for a short time until I decided moving back to Iowa was safer etc. We continued our relationship for another 9 years and had a son. The distance eventually caused us to split ways. We were never married and he never signed the birth certificates. But I trusted him and he was a good dad and supported them for 13 years. Daughter is now 13, son is 10. July 21, 2018 he lost control of his motorcycle and was run over by and SUV and was killed. His family is not settling the estate properly (but that is another issue). Since he was not on the birth certificates we are having an issue with filing for Social Security benefits for the kids and for inheritance since he was not married.

    I have TONS of circumstantial evidence proving he excepted them as his children. Photos, posts on facebook by him, introduced them to everyone in his life as his kids. Text them almost everyday saying things like "don't forget about dad". When I named them I gave them my last name but his last name as a second middle name. His family named my children in the obituary and in the fathers obituary back in 2015. He deposited money in my account every week for support (not court ordered, not through a government agency) The family is not willing to help because they are trying to scam (or something shady) the estate and keep things for themselves. I've gotten death threats and very very horrible harassing text messages from them.

    Is there a form I can fill out and send in with information I have to see if "the courts" will legally name him as their father? Or do I need a lawyer? Will they exhume him for DNA?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,152

    Default Re: Prove Paternity After Death

    You need an attorney probably from Illinois to represent you. There is no form you can fill out and send to the court that would cause the exhumation for a DNA test. And there are issues of survivor benefits and inheritance (the Illinois probate court). This is not a DYI project. Do it ASAP.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3,004

    Default Re: Prove Paternity After Death

    Have you taken the obituaries, facebook posts, etc into your local SSA field office ? If not, you need to.It may or may not make a difference.

    Read the information at the link below. The situations are different. But, the same laws might apply.

    https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/1501115016

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Prove Paternity After Death

    Not a form for Exhuming, but a form that I can send in with what information I have and see if they would consider naming him as their biological father?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3,004

    Default Re: Prove Paternity After Death

    Quote Quoting leannkruger
    View Post
    Not a form for Exhuming, but a form that I can send in with what information I have and see if they would consider naming him as their biological father?
    Have you taken what you have into your local SSA field office ? If you have not. You need to. Do not go by what you are told at the 800#.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: How Do You Prove Paternity After a Father's Death

    Quote Quoting leannkruger
    View Post
    Is there a form I can fill out and send in with information I have to see if "the courts" will legally name him as their father? Or do I need a lawyer? Will they exhume him for DNA?
    Yes, you need a lawyer. A court isn't going to establish paternity just because you ask nicely or submit some form. If the executor of his estate won't agree that your children are the heirs of the estate, then this is basically an adversary proceeding between you (as your children's guardian) and whatever members of his family survived him. I'm sure you had what you thought were good reasons for not seeking to establish paternity while this man was alive, but you're now facing the completely foreseeable consequence of that decision. While perhaps not helpful, it's also worth pointing out that he could have prevented this by making a will (which I assume he didn't do because you didn't mention it).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3,004

    Default Re: How Do You Prove Paternity After a Father's Death

    You may or may not be able to get Survivors Benefits for you children with what you have. But, the determination of SSA. Will only affect your childrens Survivors Benefits. It will have no impact on what a court decides.

    You do not need an attorney for SSA. You do need an attorney for estate issues.

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