Let’s say you’ve stored your eggs, sperm, or embryos. You later sign a will or trust requiring that your estate is to be divided among “your children.” After your death, a child results from the eggs, sperm, or embryos. Does that child get to share in your estate or not? What if your estate or trust was already distributed well before the child was born? What if the child was adopted into some other family not related to yours? And who gets to decide what to do with the eggs, sperm, or embryos in the first place?
These and similar issues come under the heading of “Assisted Reproductive Technology” for estate planning advisors. Though advisors are always working to develop better default rules for such situations, if you think it’s possible that any of these issues will come up in your estate planning, it’s very important to bring them to your advisors’ attention. You may not like the default rules that your state, or the resulting documents that your lawyer prepares for you, will impose. And if your documents don’t address these issues at all, expensive and time-consuming litigation can result, frustrating the people you want to inherit your assets.
Consult your estate planning advisors with any questions. Visit The Connolly Gallagher Trust & Estate page by clicking here.