Intestacy law, posthumously conceived children, inheritance law, assisted reproductive technology (ART)


The ability to conceive a child using the preserved genetic material, or gametes, of a deceased person presents a number of legal issues for inheritance, estate planning, Social Security, and parental rights. New medical advancements in assisted reproductive technology (ART) enable individuals to conceive children after their death, complicating the conventional methods of determining heirship of the decedent under state intestacy laws. The purpose of intestacy law is to determine the succession of a decedent that dies without a will, or intestate, with the goal of carrying out the donative intent of the decedent. Intestacy law has failed to keep pace with these technological advancements, which has left the legal status of posthumously conceived children (PCC) uncertain in many states.