DNA Matching Unravels Mysteries and Reveals Benefits
The DNA of a deceased person can be beneficial in many ways. It can be used for anything from unraveling mysteries to revealing financial gains. More often than one might think, the DNA of a person determines whether or not someone receives their entitled financial benefits. One such case would be if the deceased left something in their will. It is also important to note that using the DNA to prove biological relationship can be used in many other ways. Properly collecting and documenting DNA evidence is the best and most reliable method of stopping false claims and rewarding the truth.
When a person dies without a legal will, it is known as “intestate”. This begs the question of how their estate will be fairly divided. Regulations vary from state to state since state law determines how everything is divided. Most states follow the same basic format. If there is no legal spouse, the inheritance is passed onto the biological children first. If there are no children, it is passed onto the siblings. If no siblings exist, then it goes to nieces and nephews and then to distant cousins and so on.
In recent years, the science of DNA testing and analysis has made leaps and bounds of progress. Now, with a degree of uncertainty, it is possible to determine the probability of a person being a direct child, a sibling, or even more extended relationships such as cousins, nieces, or nephews.
The collection of DNA is not a complicated process:
- Use clean Q-tips to swab the inside of the cheeks
- Air dry each Q-tip.
- Seal each Q-tip in separate labeled bags.
There are very few states that have discussed the collection of DNA from deceased individuals. The collection of the DNA for the majority is neither authorized nor prohibited. This means that the matter is mostly up to the representatives.
Recently, attorneys who represent funeral homes have been advising family members that the last best opportunity to gather secure samples of their loved one’s DNA is at the time of their loved one’s death.
If direct samples of DNA are not collected, there is still a chance to retrieve them. DNA collected from their personal belongings is known as “touch DNA”. However, it is not as reliable as direct DNA and comes at a much greater expense.
Additionally, the familial relationships of an unknown person can still be determined by comparing DNA samples with known biological relations. Like the touch DNA, this is also more expensive and less reliable.
Hereditary Health DNA Testing
Mysteries regarding hereditary health conditions can be solved by testing the DNA of a blood relative. The most straightforward way to make sure DNA samples are collected is to ensure that the collection of DNA is part of the final interment process.
Recently, attorneys have begun to discuss having DNA samples, or instructions for collecting them, as part of their will. This is, again, the last good chance of getting a top-tier sample.
Discussing the benefits of collecting DNA with family members at the time of final arrangements is becoming more and more common with funeral home directors. It is a simple service with far-reaching impacts on families and future generations.
With DNA testing becoming more and more reliable, not all hope is lost if those arrangements are not made in time. DNA testing is becoming increasingly sensitive, and with a new subset of DNA called “touch DNA”, it is possible to determine the identity of individuals with no more than ten skin cells collected from their belongings. The “touch” samples are invisible to the naked eye but work beautifully for testing and analysis. For example, consider the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. For a very long time, her parents were accused of murdering JonBenet, but with the help of touch DNA, they were proven innocent.
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