2012 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 45a - Probate Courts and Procedure
Chapter 802b - Decedents’ Estates
Section 45a-438 - (Formerly Sec. 45-274). Distribution to children. Children born out of wedlock may inherit.


CT Gen Stat § 45a-438 (2012) What's This?

(a) After distribution has been made of the intestate estate to the surviving spouse in accordance with section 45a-437, all the residue of the real and personal estate shall be distributed in equal proportions, according to its value at the time of distribution, among the children and the legal representatives of any of them who may be dead, except that children or other descendants who receive estate by advancement of the intestate in the intestate’s lifetime shall themselves or their representatives have only so much of the estate as will, together with such advancement, make their share equal to what they would have been entitled to receive had no such advancement been made.

(b) Except as provided in section 45a-731, for purposes of intestate succession by, through or from a person, an individual is the child of his genetic parents, regardless of marital status of such parents. With respect to a child born out of wedlock, the father of a child born out of wedlock shall be considered a parent if (1) the father and mother have married after the child’s birth, or (2) the father has been adjudicated the father of the child by a court of competent jurisdiction, or (3) the father has acknowledged under oath in writing that he is the father of the child, or (4) after the death of either the father or the child, paternity has been established by the Probate Court by clear and convincing evidence that the father has acknowledged in writing that he is the father of the child and has openly treated the child as his.

(c) For the purposes of this section legal representatives shall include legal representatives of children born out of wedlock, provided any such child qualifies for inheritance under subsection (b) of this section.

(1949 Rev., S. 7058; P.A. 78-199, S. 1; P.A. 90-146, S. 11; P.A. 91-109, S. 1; P.A. 95-316, S. 5; P.A. 96-180, S. 159, 166.)

History: P.A. 78-199 designated previous provisions as Subsecs. (a) and (b) (1) and added Subsecs. (b)(2) and (c) re children born out of wedlock; P.A. 90-146 made technical revisions in Subsec. (a); Sec. 45-274 transferred to Sec. 45a-438 in 1991; P.A. 91-109 amended Subsec. (b) to permit inheritance by child born out of wedlock from father if paternity is established by the probate court, after death of the father or the child, by clear and convincing evidence that father has acknowledged in writing that he is the father of the child and has openly treated the child as his; P.A. 95-316 replaced former Subsec. (b) re children born before marriage and inheritance by children born out of wedlock with new Subsec. (b) which stated that except as provided in Sec. 45a-731, an individual is the child of his genetic parents regardless of their marital status, and set out when the father of a child born out of wedlock shall be considered a parent, and made technical changes in Subsec. (a) and (c); P.A. 96-180 made technical change in Subsec. (b), effective June 3, 1996.

See Sec. 45a-436 re survivor’s succession upon death of spouse, election against will and intestate succession.

Deed with merely nominal consideration presumed to be advancement. 3 C. 34. Illegitimate child inherits from mother. 5 C. 232. Advancement by unauthorized agent inoperative. 6 C. 311. Gifts are presumed to be advancements. Id., 360; But see 20 C. 326. Advancements are to be brought in and made subject of distribution. 7 C. 5; 64 C. 419. Intent governs as to whether property is gift, advancement, or partly each. 16 C. 388; 20 C. 327. Specific legacies not advancements. 17 C. 545. Gift cannot be subsequently changed to advancement. 23 C. 521. Widow’s share in personal estate vests instanter on death of husband. 26 C. 352. Advancement not chargeable against widow’s third. 64 C. 419. Cited. 65 C. 89. This section legitimatizes children born before marriage for all purposes. 69 C. 303; 90 C. 168. Cited. 69 C. 625; 72 C. 154; 74 C. 131. Intention determines, between loan and advancement; latter can be converted into former only by consent. 79 C. 365. Illegitimate children may inherit from mother. 88 C. 270. State where land lies determines as to its transmission by inheritance. 178 U.S. 186. “Children” does not include those precluded from inheriting from natural parents by section 45-65. 115 C. 165. “Legal representatives” of a deceased child include his lineal descendants. Id., 242. Former statute cited. Id., 273. Cited. 135 C. 252. Heirs at law who take upon intestacy resulting from the failure of a contingent remainder to vest are to be ascertained as of the date of testatrix’ death. 137 C. 192. Cited. Id., 610. Meaning of term “legal representatives” should be determined from the context of the will; here held to be a term of limitation. 147 C. 272. Cited. 149 C. 129; 150 C. 125. Cited. 170 C. 212. Cited. 174 C. 482. Unconstitutional as applied to the illegitimate children involved as violation of equal protection clause of U.S. and Connecticut constitutions. 178 C. 181. Cited. 180 C. 114. Cited. 194 C. 52. Cited. 216 C. 523.

Cited. 38 CS 91.

Subsec. (b):

Subdiv. (1) cited. 204 C. 760.

Cited. 40 CS 151. Subdiv. (2) (B) (ii): Neither the execution of a “statement of parentage” nor the affirmation on an income tax return constituted a valid acknowledgment of paternity since they were not made “under oath”. Id.

Annotations to present section:

Cited. 34 CA 579.

Subsec. (b):

Subdiv. (2) cited. 234 C. 51.

Subsec. (c):

Cited. 234 C. 51.

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