Will My Nephew Have Any Legal Right To His Father’s Estate?

My nephew’s dad died in Michigan and so far no will has been found. The father’s name is not on his birth certificate. The family recognizes him as their nephew, grandson etc. Will he still have legal right to his dad’s estate, either with or without a will.

When a person dies without a will, the state’s intestate statute will determine who inherits what. Natural and adopted children are heirs under the intestate statute. Long ago, a child born out of wedlock would not be able to inherit without a will. Today, a child born out of wedlock may still inherit from his father’s estate under certain circumstances. Michigan outlines these circumstances in Michigan Compiled Law (MCL) Section 700.2114(c). Basically, if the father acknowledged your nephew during his lifetime, or if your nephew can establish the paternity under Michigan law, your nephew will be considered a child of his father and should inherit the same as any other of his children.