You dare speak his name? YOU FILTHY HALF BLOOD!“—The pure blooded witch, Bellatrix Lestrange says to Harry Potter after he uses the name Voldemort.  In the Harry Potter books much is made about whether a character is pure blood or half blood. Are those that are half blood only found in works of science fiction?

Let’s see.  A mother and father divorce after the birth to them of two children, Jeff and Lisa.  The mother and father both re-marry and the mother has five additional children and the father has three additional children.  The mother and father die.  Then Lisa dies with no will and without a surviving spouse or children of her own.  Does her estate go to her full sibling Jeff or to her eight half-siblings?

Let’s examine the different relationships that can exist in a family of siblings.  A full sibling (full brother or full sister) is a sibling with whom an individual shares the same biological parents.  Half-siblings only share one parent instead of two as full siblings do.  This constitutes the term half blood.

This should not be confused with step-children.  A Step-sibling” (step-brother or step-sister) is the child of one’s Step-Parent from a previous or subsequent relationship. The step-siblings are not blood related.

When there is no Will to dictate otherwise, Michigan law provides that a relative of the half blood inherits the same share he or she would inherit if he or she was whole blood.  However, a step-sibling does not inherit.

Obviously, the level of emotional connection is often not determined based on whether a person is a step-sibling or a half-sibling.  This is another great example as to why the preparation of a Will is so important.

Historically in most states, half-siblings were often accorded unequal treatment. In old English common law inequalities existed with half-siblings taking only half as much property as other siblings of full-blood. 

The answer to the question above should now be as crystal clear as all of the relationships in the Harry Potter series.  

Lisa’s estate will be shared with her eight half-siblings.