At times, vital records may be used as proof of kinship, which means there is a connection between two people by blood or family relationship. Kinship may exist through genetic ties, marriage, or adoption.
Proof of kinship is most commonly requested when it is unclear who has a legitimate claim to an inheritance or estate. If an individual dies without leaving a will, the rules of kinship will commonly decide who their beneficiary will be. If there is no clear next of kin, kinship proceedings are often used to prove a claimant’s relationship to the deceased concretely.
If you are asked to prove kinship to a probate court, you will likely need to show your:
- Government-issued identification
- Family tree
- Birth certificate
- Marriage records
Other essential vital records and legal documents may also be necessary to verify your relationship with the deceased. However, you should know that any documents you use to establish kinship must be valid and accepted as legal proof in the state where the individual resided.