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Your Life and the Law

Thursday, October 22, 2020

You Are My Safe Sheltered Bridge


(To remember this phrase throughout the day as an affirmation I use mnemonics and a counting reminder. I take the first letter of two words at a time and find a state, city, or college abbreviation or professional sports team. Today’s are University of Richmond (UR), Mississippi (MS), and San Bernardino (SB). The numbers are 6, 6, and 15 derived from the total letters in each two-word grouping.)

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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Rediscovering Ephesians 2:8; “It is the gift (an inter vivos trust) of God.”


The shining priceless jewel of Christian theology is that salvation is a gift. That is made clear in Ephesians 2:8 and elsewhere in the New Testament.

No other religion makes such a claim. It is a legal claim because a gift is a transaction defined by law.

Christianity is unique in making such a claim.


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Monday, January 5, 2015

When May a Child born out of wedlock inherit from the father

When may a child born out of wedlock inherit from the biological father?  Or, what does it take to be a valid child with full inheritance rights from the deceased father, even if born out of wedlock?  

One of the following conditions must be met:  1) marriage of parents; 2) adjudication as father; or 3) clear and convincing evidence of paternity.  As with all things in the legal arena, stating the rule is only half the battle.  Each of these conditions come with qualifications.

Regarding marriage, you may ask, "How can there be a marriage of the mother and father if we are talking about a child born out of wedlock?"  Here we are speaking of a marriage that is prohibited or void under law.  The marriage is not sufficient to qualify as a legal marriage, but is sufficient evidence to prove that the child born out of wedlock should inherit from the biological father.  The marriage could have taken place before or after the birth.

Adjudication as father simply means that there has been a court action in which the father was ordered to provide support, maintenance, and education.

Other sufficient evidence to to prove that the child born out of wedlock should inherit from the biological father is clear and convincing evidence of the father's consent to his name being on the birth certificate, that the father admitted paternity in a court with valid jurisdiction, or of a writing in which the father swore to his fatherhood of the child under oath.  For the following, in addition to clear and convincing evidence of each there is a requirement that within 1 year (wiggle room on time limit) after the father's death there is an affidavit asserting and an action to establish paternity:  open cohabitation 10 months before; allowed child to use surname; claimed child on tax return; or has blood test or other medical evidence.

A situation where this might be important would be where a father refuses to recognize his child born out of wedlock as his own.  As long as that child is not adopted by another man, the biological father may still have to include that child among his heirs.  


Monday, December 22, 2014

Welcome to The Law Office of Douglas E. Crockett Estate Planning Law Blog

Welcome to our website. Please check back soon for frequent articles and information regarding wills, trusts and probate.



The Law Office of Douglas E. Crockett is located in Highland Springs, VA and serves clients throughout Sandston, Mechanicsville, Montrose, Chamberlayne & East Highland Park.



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