Posthumously Conceived Heirs: Should they inherit?

Posthumously Conceived Heirs: Should they inherit?

Sep 04, 2013

Who are they?

An heir is someone who inherits from you after your death under California law. For example, your wife, children, and grandchildren are considered your heirs at law. A posthumously conceived heir is a child or grandchild that is conceived after your death.

How does this happen? Through advancements in fertility technology, sperm and eggs can be frozen for years before they are used. A posthumously conceived heir can be a child that is conceived (thanks to technology) after your death using your frozen sperm or eggs, or it can be a grandchild conceived through the frozen sperm or eggs of one of your children.

So, What’s the problem?

The problem arises when a posthumously conceived grandchild or child makes a claim to the estate of a loved one.  Should these posthumously conceived heirs inherit under your estate? Regardless of your viewpoint on the topic, it is an issue that must be addressed when preparing your estate plan.

When preparing your estate plan, you must consider this issue and how exactly you would personally like the situation to be handled after your death. If you do not wish for such individuals to take under your estate, then specific disinheritance provisions must be discussed with you attorney. If you choose to allow posthumously conceived heirs to inherit under your estate, you must think about how you would like to plan if such an event were to occur. Should you place a time limit? A dollar limit? Allocate a certain percentage? These and other issues must be discussed prior to finalizing your estate plan.

Here is an interesting article on the issue.

To obtain more information on posthumously conceived heirs or discuss your estate plan please call us at (818) 649-9110 or email us at for a free consultation.

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