In re Estate of Flaws, 2012 SD 3 (S.D. Sup. Ct. 2012)

(decedent died testate, but predeceased by named beneficiaries; decedent’s will did not name contingent beneficiaries, so estate administration governed by state (SD) intestacy statute; decedent predeceased by parents and only sibling (an Indian residing in Indian Country); sibling’s biological child contacted decedent five years before decedent’s death about her claim that decedent was her aunt; niece submitted to DNA testing to prove paternity at decedent’s request; sibling’s two children from his marriage named co-personal representatives of decedent’s estate and trial court determined that niece did not have standing to claim that she was an heir; trial court ruled that niece failed to comply with SD bastard child statute (SDCL 29A-2-114) in attempt to establish parentage for purposes of intestate succession; court determines that DNA evidence not statutorily listed method for determining paternity; but, niece had petitioned Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to reopen father’s probate to include her as an heir; such move, if successful, would cause niece to comply with SD bastard child statute; matter remanded to trial court to wait for BIA decision).

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