Artificial Reproductive Technology and Estate Planning

As women continue to give birth later in their lives, and more and more same-sex couples want to conceive children of their own, the use of artificial reproductive technology (“ART”) is becoming more and more prevalent. As a recent article explains, those who use ART, even if they never conceive a child, must factor it into their estate plan.

Often, people who anticipate infertility due to cancer treatments or other reasons have their genetic material frozen. If you have any genetic material frozen, consider if you would allow that material to be used to conceive a child after your death. If you would allow this, consider whether you would allow these heirs to inherit from your will or trust.

In your will and trust documents you should be clear as to whether you would like to distinguish between children already born at the time of your death and children conceived thereafter. If you would like all of your genetic children to be treated the same, regardless of their date of birth, you must specify that.

If you received genetic material from a donor, consider whether the donor retained any parental rights. If you believe your donor gave up their parental rights, be sure that they signed the waiver in writing, and that you have a copy of the writing.