State law may be reason two of McNair's sons not listed as heirs

Monday, July 20, 2009 at 12:47am
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Tennessee state law regarding how personal estates are taken care of when the deceased has no will is the apparent reason that the late Steve McNair’s two sons living in Mississippi have not been included as heirs.

The attorney for Mechelle McNair, widow of the slain former Tennessee Titans quarterback, said that because Steve and Mechelle McNair were married at the time of the births of their sons, Tyler, 11, and Trenton, 6, those two boys are automatically presumed to be rightful heirs to their father’s estate, according to the law.

Non-marital offspring are not afforded the same rights under Tennessee law and the burden of proof lies with those children to prove they are rightful heirs to a portion of McNair’s estate, whether through DNA evidence or court or hospital documents showing paternity, according to attorney David Callahan, who is representing Mechelle, Tyler and Trenton.

That means that McNair’s other two children, Steven L. Jr. (known as Junior) and Steven O’Brian Koran, must show sufficient proof of Steve McNair as their biological father in order to gain an inheritance from his estate.

“They are listed as potential heirs, but we do not have the information to call them heirs,” said Callahan. “Any non-marital child for any case for the State of Tennessee will have to come into court and present clear and convincing evidence they are indeed rightful heirs. Once that is done, then they would be allowed to have a share in the estate.”

Last week, Mechelle McNair was given the power to administer his estate and has 60 days to compile an inventory of her late husband’s assets and liabilities.

However, McNair’s long-time agent thinks legally his client took care of this matter for his the two older sons.

James “Bus” Cook told The City Paper that it was his understanding that such a process was undertaken years ago in Mississippi. Steve McNair did fully acknowledge the other two sons, and had spoken to Nashville media just weeks before his death about his son Steven L. Jr., who is a Division I football prospect at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss.

“It is my understanding that they were adjudicated long ago,” Cook said. “I really can’t go into it, but it is my understanding that they went through the process in Mississippi years ago and were shown to be rightful heirs.”

Callahan said he had not yet been contacted by any representatives for McNair’s two older sons. Cook said to his knowledge neither of the sons had yet retained legal counsel, but it is almost certain the ruling to exclude the non-marital children will be challenged.

In any event, the McNair estate will be tied up for at least nine more months and likely longer, in the event that either or both sons file petitions for a stake in the estate.

Taxes on the estate must be sorted out by April 15, and it is possible a six-month extension might be needed in the filing of those.

Also, creditors who have a claim on the estate have four months to file for anything owed to them, and a notice in the newspaper asking for such should be forthcoming soon.

The former NFL quarterback was shot to death on July 4 by his mistress, Sahel ‘Jenny’ Kazemi, who later turned the gun on herself. Metro Police ruled the incident a murder-suicide.

For more on Mechelle McNair’s ruling, click here.


2 Comments on this post:

By: sidneyames on 7/20/09 at 6:28

Here's one more lesson for everyone who wants to do better in life. First lesson was don't date out on your wife - for any reason. Second lesson, don't date women who are unstable. Third lesson, don't date married men even if they say they are separated. Fourth lesson - have your estate planning in order even if you're only 26. Fifth lesson - be sure your children have your name(s) on birth certificate. Sixth lesson - Live-ins get left out. Women, don't shack up. Do the legal thing and you'll avoid some real pain in your and your children's lives. And I am not preaching. I speak from real personal experience in this arena. Live in's get left out!

By: jwk6179 on 7/20/09 at 2:56

I wouldn't be the least bit surprised, when all is said and done, if it were to come out that Steve McNair has fathered several children with several different women, a la Ttavis Henry/Shawn Kemp. From what I've heard, Steve McNair was known to be be quite the lady's man around town.