Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Article on Posthumously Conceived Children and State Intestacy Laws

Test tubesLane Thomasson recently published an article entitled, Burns v. Astrue: “Born in Peculiar Circumstances,” Posthumously Conceived Children and the Adequacy of State Intestacy Laws, 91 Denv. U. L. Rev. 715-740 (2014). Provided below is the article’s abstract.

A posthumously conceived child is one born to a woman who became pregnant by the preserved semen of a dead man. This Comment examines the rights of posthumously conceived children to receive social security benefits using an example from the Utah Supreme Court, Burns v. Astrue. Currently, the result is determined by the intestacy laws of the state where the semen donor died. It also discusses the applicable intestacy provisions in the states comprising the Tenth Circuit, as well as the approaches used by the Uniform Probate Code and the Uniform Parentage Act. The Comment concludes by addressing whether it would be more desirable to leave the determination of the issue to each state, to pass federal legislation that would bring all states into conformity with each other, or to adopt model legislation in every state.


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