Estate Planning and Assisted Reproductive Technology

Each year, thousands of Americans rely on assisted reproductive technology to have children. While this advancement in the medical industry has allowed people who would have otherwise been unable to have children do so, it is not without its complications.


One of the frequently overlooked areas impacted by artificial reproductive technology is estate planning. This article takes a brief look at the role of assisted reproductive technology and how it impacts end of life decisions.


# 1 – Artificial Reproductive Technology Is Playing a Powerful Role


Artificial reproductive technology encompasses a number of different types of medical procedures that are used to help the conception process.


Medical professionals are realizing that artificial reproductive technology can play a powerful role in a number of areas including addressing genetic risks and infertility.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 8 couples experiences difficulty in getting pregnant. Currently, artificial reproductive technology has helped with the birth of more than one million children in the United States.


# 2 – Numerous Estate Plans Have Been Impacted by the Technology


As a growing number of people benefit from artificial reproductive technology, the technology not only impacts estate planning for not just parents but also other family members.


This is because artificial reproductive technology tests the traditional notion of childbirth. These complications are also only likely to increase in number as artificial reproductive technology begins to play an increased role in many of our lives.


Due to this technology, many people have been forced to question exactly what being a “parent” means as well as how “descendents” factor into estate plans.


# 3 – Artificial Reproductive Technology Impacts Medical Directives


Artificial reproductive technology has had an impact on a number of estate planning documents including advance medical directives.


Not only do these documents serve as health care powers of attorney, they also allow an appointed person to make healthcare decisions for an incapacitated individual concerning how genetic material are handled including substances that might be used in artificial reproductive technology.  


# 4 – What Estate Planning Means Now


As a result of the introduction of advanced reproductive technology, adequate estate plans should now include definitions of what a “parent” and “child” are to make sure that a person’s wishes are carried out.


If a person has used artificial reproductive technology or plans on using it in the future, it is important to consider how genetic material will be handled.


If a person has already entered into a formal agreement with a fertility clinic concerning the use of artificial reproductive technology, it is also critical to review these documents to make that a person’s wishes are fully reflected.


Speak with an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer Today


Assisted reproductive technology is just one of many elements of modern life that has made estate planning much more difficult.


If you have questions or concerns about successful estate planning or how artificial reproductive technology might affect your plans, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact Ettinger Estate Planning today for assistance.

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