By proving you are the legal father of your children in the state of Texas, you may secure your rights to help raise your child, plus your child can gain access to information about your family line. But establishing your rights as a father can do much more. You can also help ensure your children will inherit from you after you die.
You may have a lot of assets and property that you want your offspring to have. Even if your estate is small, establishing paternity can help your child benefit from whatever you own after your death.
Establishing inheritance rights
As Smart Asset points out, some people in Texas die intestate. These are people who do not make out a will. Therefore, a Texas court will determine who inherits from their estates through a line of succession. This line includes spouses, children, siblings and parents.
The state of Texas grants children born out of wedlock a place in the intestate inheritance line. So it does not matter if you have children in a marriage or outside of it. If you prove your paternity, the state will recognize your children as having a priority to inherit from you.
Why paternity may protect inheritance rights
You might grant your children an inheritance by naming them as heirs in a will. Even if you have not established yourself as their legal father, Texas courts recognize wills as legally binding, provided they do not run afoul of the law. A judge may throw out a will if it turns out the person writing the will did so under duress.
Proving paternity can also help avoid the problem of deathbed marriages. For instance, you may marry the mother of your children but die soon after. Texas law allows family members to contest a marriage on the grounds the surviving spouse married someone close to death only to gain their estate. If you leave no doubt that you are your children’s father, you might stop any legal challenges to your marriage or your will from depriving your offspring of what they deserve.