William Mitchell Law Review

Publication Information

30 William Mitchell Law Review 529 (2003-2004)


The transfer of a person's assets after death has been an important element in the law beginning with the Magna Carta, and is firmly rooted in American jurisprudence. Defining children and heirs for probate purposes remains a difficult issue. In particular, the determination of children and heirs in an age when the birth of “illegitimate” children is common makes the proper and just determination of heirship a recurring and timely topic. The Minnesota Probate Code defines the term “child” and provides: “a person is the child of the person's parents regardless of the marital status of the parents and the parent and child relationship may be established under the Parentage Act, sections 257.51 to 257.74.” The Minnesota Supreme Court recently interpreted this provision in In re Estate of Palmer. The court held that in a probate proceeding paternity may be established by clear and convincing evidence without having to use the Parentage Act.