TN 28 (01-02)

GN 00306.635 Tennessee Intestacy Laws

A. Child acquires status of child if:

1. child is declared legitimate by decree of circuit, probate, or county court or, after 03/09/65, by decree of juvenile court, but only if the juvenile court decree was obtained for support or education rather than purely for inheritance purposes. (NOTE: A decree arising from a juvenile court action filed after the alleged father died would not satisfy this requirement.); or

2. effective 03/30/49, parents intermarry and father recognizes child; or

3. effective 03/15/55 - 03/29/78, paternity is established by an adjudication based on a preponderance of the evidence before the father's death; or

4.* (I) effective 03/30/78, the natural parents participate in a marriage ceremony before or after the child's birth even though the attempted marriage is void; or

5.* (I) effective 03/30/78, paternity may be established, for purposes of intestate succession, before the putative father's death by a preponderance of the evidence or, thereafter, by clear and convincing evidence. In addition, paternity for purposes of intestate succession may also be established by clear and convincing evidence in all cases pending in Tennessee State courts on 06/29/78 even though the alleged father died prior to 03/30/78. However, all paternity actions for purposes of intestate succession are barred under Tennessee law if the alleged father's estate has “finally vested, “i.e., if the estate assets have actually been distributed to the heirs. For claims filed on or after 11/27/98, or pending on that date, a NH's estate which has “finally vested” is not a bar to establishing paternity.

6.* (I) effective 07/01/94, a presumption of paternity arises when blood, genetic, or DNA testing shows a 95% or greater statistical probability of paternity. This presumption can be rebutted by a preponderance of the evidence.

NOTE*: Legitimation after 06/97- Effective 07/01/97, when the relationship of father and child is established under A.4., A.5., or A.6. above, the child is entitled to inherit from the father as if born in wedlock.

B. Father acquires status of parent if parents intermarry and after 03/30/49, father recognizes child, or paternity is established under A.1., 3., 4., or 5. above but, if under 5., the father must have openly treated the child as his and must not have refused to support the child.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200306635
GN 00306.635 - Tennessee Intestacy Laws - 08/27/2004
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:08/27/2004