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Estate Planning in the Age of Assisted Reproduction

Over the past 10 years, the number of families seeking the assistance of reproductive technology has doubled. As the possibilities for family planning have undergone dramatic changes, so have the options open to those wishing to plan their estate.

The ability to preserve genetic material (such as eggs, embryos and sperm) has given individuals the ability to create life even after death, but, as Margaret Collins writes for Bloomberg, few states have any guidelines in place which would guide procedures such as probate in the event that a child was conceived after the death of a parent.

The reasons one might have for seeking the assistance of reproductive technology are vast. As Collins writes, some wish to preserve their ability to become pregnant later in life. Others suffer from diseases, such as cancer, that might prevent them from becoming pregnant in the future due to disease progression or treatment, like radiation.

In regards to estate planning, questions may arise as to whether children conceived via such technology have a legitimate claim on parental estates or the businesses and property that have been passed down through generations.

While questions such as these are still relatively few and far between, expect to see an increase. Sooner or later, legislators will have to come to terms with the new estate administration variables at play.

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