It is not unusual for paternity tests to come into play in family law cases. However, one New York dispute has resulted in an unusual DNA testing predicament. Recently, a judge ruled that bones and fragments of a man no longer alive could be tested to determine parenthood in a dispute over the late man’s $1 million estate.

The case revolves around a 24-year-old man, who claims to be the late bond broker’s next of kin. The alleged father was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001. Science is available that allows the medical examiner’s office to conduct DNA testing on the man’s remains.

The case is highly controversial, with the man’s family members telling reporters the testing of the remains is emotionally difficult for them. The 24-year-old’s mother has consistently claimed the bond broker fathered her child, but neither she nor her son claimed paternity until 2014. Nonetheless, the judge ruled the claims credible and has given permission for the test to move forward. 

Many paternity cases in New York involve mothers or their children seeking financial support for the costs of raising a child. However, if a father passes away without designating a next of kin, the right of biological children to inherit those assets may also come into pay. Medical technology does exist to conduct DNA testing on those who have passed away, though a New York court order is required if the known family does not give consent. Those facing such issues should speak with a lawyer to understand how the law deals with these types of cases.

Source:, “Judge rules 9/11 victim’s remains can be tested in $1M paternity case“, Kathleen Joyce, April 20, 2018