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Utah Court of Appeals In re Estate of Heater, 2020 UT App 70 (April 30, 2020)

Apr 30, 2020

An unacknowledged biological son of the deceased sought leave to intervene as an heir in probate proceedings. Over the objection of the deceased’s biological daughter, the district court permitted the son’s intervention. The court of appeals affirmed, holding that the son could establish a parent-child relationship with the deceased, irrespective of the fact that he already had a presumed father under the terms of the Utah Uniform Parentage Act (UUPA). The court reasoned that the UUPA is expressly subordinate to other statues that provide their own definition of a parent-child relationship, including the Probate Code. Additionally, the appellate court held that the Probate Code’s “one-set-of-parents” rule, which prohibits an adopted child from inheriting from both natural and adoptive parents through intestate succession, does not apply outside of the adoption context and could not bar the son from inheriting as an heir.