NEW YORK, Aug. 14, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Carole M. Bass, partner in the Trusts & Estates and Matrimonial practices at Moses & Singer LLP, shared insights on the rapidly growing field of reproductive technology in a recent webinar sponsored by the American Bar Association. The session, entitled "ART Law: The Intersection of Assisted Reproductive Technology Law with Family Law & Estate Planning" focused on the legal implications of family planning technologies such as egg banking, in vitro fertilization and surrogacy. With an estimated 8 million US citizens faced with infertility, these techniques are becoming increasingly prevalent.
Carole addressed the disposition of stored genetic material at death. "Individuals need to provide clear direction as to who, if anyone, can use their remaining eggs, sperm or embryos at death. This intent should be spelled out in clinic contracts and in estate planning documents." Because an individual's intent can change over time and can be affected by life events, including divorce, it is important to revisit clinic contracts periodically.
She further discussed the inheritance rights of children conceived after the death of a genetic parent (posthumously conceived children). "The Decedent's intent, as stated in the will, is key and has a significant impact on the child's inheritance rights."
For LGBT families there are additional concerns because of differing laws affecting parentage and marriage recognition. A same-sex spouse may automatically be considered the second parent of a child under one state's law, but that presumption may not be honored by another state.
"The use of reproductive technology is steadily increasing and the law has not kept pace with technology. It is clear that careful drafting in estate planning documents is essential in order to prevent ambiguities in identifying descendants."
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