Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Monday, November 26, 2012

Michigan to Determine the Effect of the Capato Case

Court FightAs I have previously discussed, the Supreme Court of the United States determined in Astrue v. Capato that court should use the applicable state intestacy law to determine whether a child is considered a "child" of the deceased parent and entitled to benefits. In Michigan, the courts are preparing to hear a similar issue involving in-vitro fertilization. Jeff Mattison, a man with health problems, died in 2001 but not before leaving a deposit in a sperm bank. His wife Pam Mattison, through in-vitro fertilization, conceived twins using his sperm after his death. Following their birth, Pam applied to receive survivor benefits for their children. Social Security denied Pam and her children benefits claiming that the children might not qualify as Jeff's heirs. 

Now, the Supreme Court of Michigan will decide whether to grant benefits to the twin boys. If the high court states that the boys should be entitled to receive benefits, they could receive between $200 and $500 a month.

See State Supreme Court Weighs Heritage of Portage Man, WKZO, Nov. 14, 2012.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.


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