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HELTER SKELTER – CALIFORNIA COURT REQUIRES DNA TEST OF CHARLES MANSON’S “GRANDSON” AS REQUESTED BY PRISON PEN PAL WHO WANTS THE ESTATE

A California judge has required a DNA test of Jason Freeman, who claims to be the “grandson” of notorious murderer Charles Manson, to determine if he is a possible heir of Manson who died in 2017. The request was made by Michael Channels, a memorabilia collector who claims to have a Will that Manson wrote in 2002 whereby Manson’s estate should be pass solely to Channels, Manson’s prison pen pal. Freeman claims the handwritten Will is a forgery.

Helter Skelter-CA Court Requires DNA Test of Charles Manson's Grandson

The California Court determined that although the California Family Code refers to DNA testing to establish parent-child relationships and not grandparent-grandchild relationships, it was the legislative intent to permit DNA testing to extend the testing to a grandchild since Freeman claims to be the son of Charles Manson’s legitimate son, Charles Manson, Jr. aka Charles Jay White – who committed suicide in 1993. However, White’s name is not listed on Freeman’s birth certificate. Freeman claims a default judgement in 1986 by a family court in Ohio that decreed White, who lived in Texas, was Freemans’s natural father. However, the California court stated there was neither postal documentation that White received mail that he was the father nor that he received notice of the court judgment. Channels had argued the Ohio court lacked jurisdiction over White and that he didn’t get sufficient notice and opportunity to be heard to litigate paternity if he desired. The California court agreed. No one else claims to be the son of White. 

As indicated in other recent article of the Texas Elder Law letter advances in DNA testing have lead to increased usage to determine who may be an heir (click here to read “Bingo! Elizabeth Hurley’s Son Dings Grandfather Bing for Millions Despite Being Born Out of Wedlock” and here to read “Italian Princess Likely to Win $500 Million Art Collection from NYU by Proving her Mother was Born out of Wedlock”). It is important in this case since if a Will is a forgery, the laws of intestacy (if the deceased had no Will at death) would enable the estate to go the closest heir (and Freeman alleges that he is the sole heir).

If interested in learning more, consider attending our next free “Estate Planning Essentials” workshop by calling us at (214) 720-0102 or sign up by clicking here.

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