Judiciary: Declaration of paternity doesn’t require DNA test

The Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago has clarified information surrounding obtaining a paternity declaration when applying for the estate of a deceased person, saying a DNA test isn’t required. 

The Judiciary issued an update via social media following a media report regarding a woman who was allegedly required to submit a paternity test in order to be granted power over her father’s estate, following his death 19 years ago. 

The Judiciary said a declaration of paternity can be proven in several ways and is not a paternity order. 

“The Judiciary advises that when someone applies for the estate of another person where the person died intestate (without leaving a will) they must prove they are entitled to apply.

“A grant cannot be given to someone simply because they say it should be.

“This may require, for example, a declaration of paternity. This declaration can be sought from the court and paternity proven in several ways, including by affidavits of other persons who can state reliably that they were aware that the person was the child of the deceased person and was acknowledged as such.

“A declaration of paternity is sought from the court and is not a paternity order and does not require a DNA or blood test.”

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