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How Freezing Your Eggs Can Affect Your Estate Plan

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An estimated 75,000 children are born each year with Artificial Reproduction Technology (“ART”) and with companies like Facebook and Apple offering to pay for their female employees to freeze their eggs, that number is bound to increase.

There are a number of estate planning issues that arise for families that have a child conceived by reproduction technology. While your children or grandchildren are not entitled to inherit your estate, if you are planning on passing wealth down to the next generation, you want to make sure that your true intentions are communicated in your estate plan. Furthermore, for individuals and couples who plan on freezing their eggs, embryos, or sperm, they should provide in their estate plan who should inherit them and what should be done with them when they die (recently in Texas, a 2 year old child inherited his parents’ embryos because he was their only heir).

Estate planners should discuss these issues with their clients to ensure that they are providing in their estate plan for all of their heirs (however they are born) if that is their intention.  Forbes magazine published a very informative article that discusses how egg and embryo freezing affects estate planning and how estate planning lawyers can better serve their clients.

In addition to that article, some other to keep in mind:

  • Who inherits stored egg and sperm? What should they do with it?
    • Make sure the trust you are setting up provides for your heirs, those adopted as well as those born by ART.
      • Most states are silent on the topic of ART and most states view gestational carriers as adoption.

      Make sure to have these conversations with your children. If you are a client who is planning on freezing your eggs, embryos or sperm, make sure to provide for who should get them and how they should be treated.

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