Program Operations Manual System (POMS)
TN 29 (10-05)
GN 00306.525 Michigan Intestacy Laws
Under Michigan law, a child can inherit from his/her mother regardless of whether the child's mother and father were married.
A child or father acquires the status of child or parent if:
prior to 07/01/79, parents intermarry; or
on, before, or after 07/01/79, a child was born of a marriage prohibited by law; or
effective 09/30/78, a child is conceived following artificial insemination of a married woman with the consent of her husband. Consent of the husband is presumed unless the contrary is shown by clear and convincing evidence. The child is considered the child of the husband and wife; or
on or before 01/09/42, father acknowledged the child by writing under his own hand, executed and acknowledged in the same manner as for deeds of real estate and recorded in the office of judge or probate of the county in which father was resident; or
on or after 01/09/42, the man joins with the mother of the child and acknowledges the child as his child by completing and filing an acknowledgment of paternity. It is not necessary for the mother of the child to join in the acknowledgment if she is disqualified to act by reason of mental incapacity, death, or any other reason satisfactory to the probate judge of the county in which the acknowledgment is recorded. After 07/01/79, the acknowledgment of paternity must be filed in probate court during the child's lifetime. Effective 12/29/94, the acknowledgment of paternity is presumed to establish paternity for all purposes and may only be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence; or
effective 07/01/79, parents participate in a marriage ceremony in apparent compliance with the law before the birth of the child; or
effective 07/01/79, the parents in writing request a correction of the child's birth certificate which results in the issuance of a substituted certificate recording the child's birth; or
effective 07/01/79, the father and child have maintained a mutually acknowledged relationship of parent and child which began before the child became 18 and continued until terminated by death of either. In order for a “mutually acknowledged relationship” to exist, the child must be old enough, or capable of acknowledging the putative father as a parent; or
before 07/01/79, paternity is established by a judicial determination; after 07/01/79, the man has been determined to be the father of the child and an order of filiation establishing that paternity has been entered pursuant to the Michigan Paternity Act.
For claims filed on or after 11/27/98, or pending on that date, a State court order adjudicating paternity under section 9. above need not actually be obtained for an out-of-wedlock child to qualify as an insured individual's child under section 216(h)(2)(A) of the Act. An SSA adjudicator may independently determine paternity by applying relevant Michigan law.
Effective 10/19/93, the biological father of a child who is born out of wedlock, or who is born or conceived during a marriage but is not the issue of that marriage, shall be considered to be the natural father of that child for purposes of intestate succession from the father to the child only. This provision does not apply to a child who is adopted before the date of death of the child's biological father.
Effective 4/1/00, inheritance from or through a child by either natural parent is precluded unless the natural parent has openly treated the child as his or hers, and has not refused to support the child.
Effective 4/1/00, a child may inherit from a natural parent even if parental rights have been terminated by order of a court, by a release given by the parent for purposes of adoption, or by any other legal process, if no adoption has occurred. Once the child is adopted, the child can no longer adopt from the natural parent. See GN 00306.170.
Effective 07/01/79 through 03/31/00, the permanent termination of parental rights of a minor child by order of a court, by a release given by the parent for purposes of adoption, or by any other legal process, ends intestate succession between the parent and child for all purposes.
Paternity is ruled-out under Michigan law if blood testing, tissue typing, or a DNA profile determination demonstrates that the probability of no paternity is 99% or higher. The presumption of paternity, or the presumption of no paternity, based on blood testing, tissue typing, or a DNA profile, may be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. “Clear and convincing evidence” is evidence which is so clear, direct and weighty and convincing as to enable the SSA adjudicator to come to a clear conviction, without hesitancy, of the truth of the precise facts in issue.
In the absence of the presumptions in the preceding paragraph (G) of paternity or no paternity, the SSA adjudicator can find that paternity is established if “a preponderance of the evidence” establishes paternity. “A preponderance of the evidence” is more than 50%, i.e., such evidence as when weighed with that opposed to it has the more convincing force.