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Posted by: Amelia Ferrell Knisely on Mar 31, 2016

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

David J. Callahan, III, John Richard Manson, and Alexander Stephen Fasching, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Crystal Wey.

Attorneys 2:

James G. King, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Bryant Takashi Davis, and Peggy Duncan Mathes, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Estate of Patrick Takashi Davis.


Appellant appeals the trial court’s determination that Appellee, who was born in 1992, is an heir-at-law of the Decedent, who died intestate. Appellant argues that the Appellee, as a child born out of wedlock, was required to file a claim against decedent’s estate within the statutory period in order to inherit. However, the Decedent is listed on Appellee’s birth certificate. Under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 68-3-305(b) (1992), in order for his name to be listed on Appellee’s birth certificate, the decedent would have signed an “affidavit . . . acknowledging paternity.” With the enactment, in 1994, of Tennessee Code Annotated Section 27-7-113, such “affidavits” were deemed “voluntary acknowledgment[s] of paternity,” which constitute a “legal finding of paternity.” It is undisputed that the decedent’s estate consists only of real property. Because the inclusion of decedent’s name on Appellee’s birth certificate evinces the execution of a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity that constitutes a legal finding of paternity, Appellee’s portion of the estate vested, upon decedent’s death, in Appellee pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 31-2-103 and the laws of intestate succession, Tennessee Code Annotated Section 31-2-104. Affirmed and remanded.