Are in vitro grandchildren considered heirs?

Are in vitro grandchildren considered heirs?

By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

In 1969, seven trusts were established by Grandpa to benefit issue and descendants of the family. Before his son died, his semen was cryogenically preserved. After the son’s death, the son’s wife bore two children by artificial insemination. Were these grandsons included in the trusts intent to benefit descendants? Are in-vitro grandchild born after his son’s death “descendants” for purposes of the trust? The trust stated that its purpose was to “...benefit his sons and their families equally.” Based on what the court found to be an overall dispositive scheme to benefit the grandfather’s bloodline, the in vitro grandchildren were deemed included as trust beneficiaries. Matter of Martin B., NYLJ 8/1/07 p. 1. Note that New York law was recently amended to provide that children conceived after a parent’s death (post-conceived) are precluded from sharing a parent’s estate unless expressly provided to do so.

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