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Legacy Protection Lawyers St. Petersburg Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Lawyer

How Do DNA Kits Affect An Estate Plan?


DNA kits available from companies such as 23 and Me and Ancestry are becoming very popular today. With just one swab a person can find their genealogical and hereditary information, family history, and even long-lost relatives. Although these services do provide a great deal of value, they also pose their own challenges when estate planning. Below, our St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer explains the problems these kits can impose.

DNA Kits and Inheritances 

You may not think at first that a DNA kit could affect the inheritances you leave your children, but they can. For example, a man may make a donation to a fertility clinic in his early twenties. Two decades later, the man may be married to a woman he loves and they may have two adult children. If the man had created a will that stated he wanted to leave a certain amount to his biological children, a child born from the donation would have an interest in his estate. This would take away from the other children’s inheritance, even if the man did not know the first child ever existed.

The above scenario is not the only problem a DNA kit can create. Issues with children put up for adoption or from a previous marriage can also arise when a person has submitted their DNA to a third party.

Specific Language is Required to Avoid Issues

It may seem as though the only answer to ensuring a DNA kit does not cause problems with your estate plan is to avoid using one in the first place. Fortunately, you can still take advantage of these services without worrying that it will risk your children’s inheritances.

The key is making sure the language included in a will is very specific. For example, in the scenario above, the man could have stated that the inheritance is divided equally among the biological children of him and his wife. This would ensure the adult children receive the intended inheritance, and the child born through donation would not have any interest in the estate.

In addition to avoiding the problem of unintended beneficiaries, specific language can also prevent other issues from arising for your family. For example, a will that includes confusing or ambiguous language is easily open to interpretation and therefore, it is also open to challenges in probate court. It is for this reason that it is always recommended that you always work with a lawyer when drafting a will.

Call Our Estate Planning Lawyer in St. Petersburg for Legal Advice 

At Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, our St. Petersburg estate planning lawyer can provide the advice you need and tell you of the documents you need. We can draft you a comprehensive plan that will not be challenged in court so your family members receive their inheritance as quickly and easily as possible. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or contact us online to book a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys and to learn more about how we can help.


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