If Jose Fernandez Left No Will, Can His Unborn Baby Become His Heir?
- September 28, 2016 - Celebrity Estate Battles,
The death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez is a tragedy felt across our country. His death is particularly tragic for his girlfriend, who is also pregnant with their first child. If Fernandez, 24 years old, was like most people his age, he did not have a will. Time will tell. In the meantime, the question has been asked whether his unborn child will inherit his fortune.
I’ll start with a caveat to my answer. I am not a Florida lawyer and I hope that a Florida lawyer will address this. I can speak as to what would happen in California. California law provides “Relatives of the decedent conceived before the decedent’s death but born thereafter as if they had been born in the lifetime of the decedent.” It the decedent was unmarried, had no will or trust – that is he was intestate – and died with only one child, then that child inherits the entire intestate estate.
Social Security has a special set of rules regarding California intestacy laws. “In the case of a child born after the death of its alleged father, a parent-child relationship may be considered established if: a. the father has openly acknowledged paternity in such ways and under such circumstances as could reasonably be expected of a prospective father under similar circumstances, and did not conceal or deny paternity; and b. he received the pregnant mother into his home as the mother of his expected child or otherwise demonstrated an intent to receive the child into his home as his natural child.”
Just days before he died, Jose Fernandez posted a picture of his girlfriend on Instagram announcing they would be having a baby together. He posted “I’m so glad you came into my life. I’m ready for where this journey is gonna take us together.#familyfirst.” There is little doubt that this star pitcher was excited about becoming a father. There should be little doubt that a Florida attorney will be hired to protect the inheritance interests of this unborn baby and will have the loving statement of the now deceased Jose Fernandez to support his fatherhood.