Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Estate Fiduciaries' Authority to Dispose of Reproductive Matter

Ilene Cooper Robert Harper Ilene S. Cooper and Robert M. Harper (attorneys, Uniondale, NY) recently published their article entitled Life After Death: The Authority of Estate Fiduciaries to Dispose of Decedent’s Reproductive Matter, 26 Touro L. Rev. 649 (2010). The introduction is below:

With the advent of artificial reproductive technology, it is now possible for a decedent to conceive children after death. The potential for posthumous conception, however, does not necessarily give rise to absolute, unfettered discretion on the part of an estate fiduciary to make decisions concerning the disposition of a decedent’s reproductive material. As more fully explained below, such decisions are subject to a quasi-property right, the exercise of which is colored by a decedent’s intentions. An estate fiduciary is duty-bound to respect those intentions and should refrain from authorizing the use of a decedent’s reproductive matter, except when the decedent’s intent to reproduce posthumously is apparent.


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