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Not too long ago, companies such as Apple and Facebook made headlines for paying the expenses of their female employees to freeze their eggs. Chances are, when hearing about this news, you didn’t think it could have an effect on your estate plan. However, if you have children or grandchildren who are taking advantage of this technology, you need to pay attention.
With women deciding to have children later in life due to the negative consequences of off-ramping and fortune 500 companies paying the expenses of their female employees to freeze their eggs, you’ll need to consider whether or not to include unborn descendants in your estate plan.
For estate planning purposes, descendants, children and heirs refer to people who are genetically, legally or biologically related to you. However, egg freezing may increase the chance that you may have a descendant who is neither biologically nor genetically related to you. It will be up to you to decide whether to include him or her in your estate. That is a personal decision on your part.
This growing phenomenon of freezing eggs can also lead to tricky estate planning situations. For example, imagine this scenario: Your daughter chooses to freeze her eggs but dies before she uses them. Her instructions leave her eggs to her husband. Her husband then decides to have the eggs implanted in a surrogate. Is this your grandchild?
Reproductive technology can play an important part in your estate plan. Someone you want to include as an heir may be wrongly excluded and another you have no intention of including could be included in sharing your estate. Due to scientific breakthroughs such as the freezing of eggs, when meeting with an estate planning attorney, you want to have language drafted that is clear about your intentions. For example, you might want language in your Will that includes descendants born using assisted reproductive technology. By adding this language, you are making sure that the appropriate people you want to inherent will inherit from your estate when you pass.
By Marissa Kleiner– Guest Blogger