Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Recent Case About Intestacy

Images-5Agreement donating sperm to widow of depositor was not sufficient to show consent to being the father of a posthumously conceived child.  Under Utah law, a deceased spouse is not the parent of a child conceived through use of the decedent’s sperm unless the decedent “consented in a record” to be the parent of the posthumously conceived child.  In Burns v. Astrue, No. 20100435, 2012 WL 4841461 (Utah Oct. 12, 2012), the Utah Supreme court held that the sperm storage agreement executed by husband which required that after his death his stored sperm be donated to his wife does not show his consent to be the parent of a child conceived by the wife using the deposited sperm.  The mere act of preserving sperm does not show such consent.  In addition, the court held that the agreement at issue was unambiguous and therefore extrinsic evidence of the decedent’s intent was inadmissible.

Special thanks to William LaPiana (Professor of Law, New York Law School) for bringing this case to my attention.


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