New York Estates, Powers & Trusts Law Section 4-1.2 - Inheritance by non-marital children

4-1.2 Inheritance by non-marital children

(a) For the purposes of this article:

(1) A non-marital child is the legitimate child of his mother so that he and his issue inherit from his mother and from his maternal kindred.

(2) A non-marital child is the legitimate child of his father so that he and his issue inherit from his father and his paternal kindred if:

(A) a court of competent jurisdiction has, during the lifetime of the father, made an order of filiation declaring paternity or the mother and father of the child have executed an acknowledgment of paternity pursuant to section four thousand one hundred thirty-five-b of the public health law, which has been filed with the registrar of the district in which the birth certificate has been filed or;

(B) the father of the child has signed an instrument acknowledging paternity, provided that

(i) such instrument is acknowledged or executed or proved in the form required to entitle a deed to be recorded in the presence of one or more witnesses and acknowledged by such witness or witnesses, in either case, before a notary public or other officer authorized to take proof of deeds and

(ii) such instrument is filed within sixty days from the making thereof with the putative father registry established by the state department of social services pursuant to section three hundred seventy-two-c of the social services law, as added by chapter six hundred sixty-five of the laws of nineteen hundred seventy-six and

(iii) the department of social services shall, within seven days of the filing of the instrument, send written notice by registered mail to the mother and other legal guardian of such child, notifying them that an acknowledgment of paternity instrument acknowledged or executed by such father has been duly filed or;

(C) paternity has been established by clear and convincing evidence, which may include, but is not limited to: (i) evidence derived from a genetic marker test, or (ii) evidence that the father openly and notoriously acknowledged the child as his own, however nothing in this section regarding genetic marker tests shall be construed to expand or limit the current application of subdivision four of section forty-two hundred ten of the public health law.

(3) The existence of an agreement obligating the father to support the non-marital child does not qualify such child or his issue to inherit from the father in the absence of an order of filiation made or acknowledgement of paternity as prescribed by subparagraph (2).

(4) A motion for relief from an order of filiation may be made only by the father and a motion for relief from an acknowledgement of paternity may be made by the father, mother or other legal guardian of such child, or the child, provided however, such motion must be made within one year from the entry of such order or from the date of written notice as provided for in subparagraph (2).

(b) If a non-marital child dies, his or her surviving spouse, issue, mother, maternal kindred, father and paternal kindred inherit and are entitled to letters of administration as if the decedent was a marital child, provided that the father and paternal kindred may inherit or obtain such letters only if the paternity of the non-marital child has been established pursuant to any of the provisions of subparagraph (2) of paragraph (a).

Last modified: February 3, 2019