This article reprint appeared in the September 2021 issue of Estate Planning magazine. With sophisticated storage techniques for genetic material and advances in medical technology, a child can be conceived after the death of one or both of the child’s genetic parents. The traditional context for the use of stored genetic material after death had generally involved sperm stored before the death of a cancer patient, who preserved it fearing infertility or death. As science continues to advance, however, the impetus for storing genetic material has expanded from those who are ill or in the military to those who have extra genetic material left after infertility treatments and those just wishing to postpone childbirth until later in life.
As state legislatures struggle to keep pace with an area in which technology has fast outpaced the law, we are confronted with the question: How should posthumously conceived children be treated for inheritance, intestacy, and other purposes?
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