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The administrator of the estate of a man who died without a will cannot compel an alleged heir to take a DNA paternity test, a Pennsylvania judge has ruled in an issue of apparent first impression.

Monroe County Court of Common Pleas Judge David Williamson ruled in In re Estate of David W. Ackley Sr. that the administrator of David Ackley Sr.’s estate, who was also one of Ackley’s sons, could not force his alleged sister, who was born out of wedlock, to take a DNA test to prove her paternity. According to Williamson’s Aug. 7 opinion, a person whose paternity is contested has the burden to prove their connection with the decedent, and, although they can voluntarily take a DNA test to prove their relationship, administrators cannot preemptively compel them to take the test.

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Max Mitchell

Max Mitchell is ALM's Pennsylvania Bureau Chief overseeing The Legal Intelligencer, Delaware Law Weekly and Delaware Business Court Insider. Follow him on Twitter @MMitchellTLI. His email is [email protected]

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