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Wills and artificial reproductive technology

As technology advances, ideas that were once in the realm of science fiction become reality. From the latest medical innovations to the introduction of the driverless car, the pace of technological change has been pretty impressive over the last decade. Most Kent residents probably know something about artificial reproductive technology, which has become widely used across the nation. Whether it is used by a same-sex couple wanting to start a family or a set of parents who are unable to have a child naturally, conceiving a baby through technology has become commonplace for many Americans.

There are an estimated 250,000 babies born each year using some form of artificial reproductive technology, and the number continues to rise. While this technology has been a miracle for countless parents, it can present serious complications for parents or grandparents without a proper estate plan or will.

In the absence of the most basic estate plan, the status of artificially conceived children under state intestacy statutes may be unclear, putting their right to receive an inheritance at risk. The best way to avoid this is to prepare a will or trust. In a will, the parent or grandparent can make clear their intent that children conceived by artificial means should be treated the same as any other children.

Any Kent resident concerned with the future of their family should prepare a will. A surprising number of Americans currently live without one, meaning their estates will be distributed pursuant to state intestacy statutes. With the help of an attorney, preparing a will is a relatively simple process. An experienced estates and trusts attorney can provide guidance and advice to anyone interested in estate planning.

Source: Forbes, "10 More Estate Planning Questions That Might Make You Squirm," Wendy S. Goffe, June 6, 2013

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