Conception After Death? Here is What You Need to Know

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “Who pays for the children’s health insurance and co-pays?”


If you asked someone 20 years ago if there would ever be a possibility of a woman conceiving a baby with her spouse who is deceased, you would have likely gotten a blank stare of disbelief. 20 years ago this was not possible, but through increases in technology and conception methods, the possibility of conceiving a child after the death of a spouse is possible through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). In the estate planning world, this type of situation, a child born after the death of one of the parents, would be called an “after born child.” There are may legal considerations that must be noted when there is the potential for an after born child.


Lab-technician-In-vitro-fertilization-Family-Law-Attorneys-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-200x300What is an After Born Child?


Before you can fully understand the legal ramifications of an after born child, it is important to understand exactly what an after born child is and the different ways that he or she can exist. The most traditional type of after born child is a child that is born after the death of one parent, when the child was conceived naturally. This just means that a parent dies during the pregnancy of the other parent. Thus, the child is born after the death.


A newer way that brings about the question of an after born child is through IVF. IVF is a medical process and procedure that unites the sperm and egg outside of the womb, creates and embryo, and then implants that embryo into the uterus of a woman. These embryos that are made can be frozen. Therefore, the possibility of the embryos being used after the death of one, or both, of the parents makes it possible that there could be an after born child.


Inheriting After Born Children


If embryos are frozen and saved for later use, the issue arises as to what happens to those embryos in the event of the death of one or both parties. Can they still be used and carried by someone else? If one parent dies, can the other one use the embryos on his or her own? Does a parent have to give consent to use of the embryos in the event that the other dies before implantation or use?


The above questions all revolve around the inheritance or ownership of potential after born children after the death of one of the parents. To ease any questions or complications that might arise later on, it is best to account for these potential new family members in a will. The will can leave assets to the after born children by referencing them. Additionally, a parent to the potential after born children can give consent, or refuse to consent, in a will.


After born children are a complex area of the law. New technology often outpaces the law. The family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC can help you with after born children rules and regulations and how these children will fit into your future life. Contact us today for a consultation. If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter and need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe (by appointment only until 2019), please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.







The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.





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