Tag Archive for 'social security'

Posthumously Conceived Children And Their Uphill Battle For Inheritance Rights

This story from yesterday’s FoxNews.com highlights the difficulty faced by children who were conceived after one of their parents dies.

Melissa Amen conceived her 3-year-old daughter, Kayah, seven days after Kayah’s father died of cancer.

Melissa and her husband, Joshua, struggled for two years to have a child before she conceived through intrauterine insemination. Joshua had stored his sperm in a bank in case treatments for his cancer rendered him sterile. They were planning to raise a family together despite his three-year battle with cancer.

The use of assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination, is becoming more widespread among U.S. troops and cancer patients as they are increasingly banking their sperm to prevent a premature death or sterility-inducing injury from allowing them to have children, observers say.

Yet only 11 states recognize the biological relationships of children conceived posthumously: California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

Other states grant inheritance rights to children born after one parent dies only if conceived naturally. And although the Social Security Administration generally oversees benefits, it defers to states when determining parentage and children’s inheritance rights.

After the Social Security Administration denied Melissa’s application seeking survivor benefits for Kayah because she was conceived after the death of her father, Melissa took the issue into federal court.  Iowa is close to changing its law to allow children conceived up to two years after a parent dies to receive inheritance rights and Social Security benefits. The Iowa House passed the bill last month and the Senate approved it this week.

I am unaware of any efforts in Ohio or any other states to accomplish the same worthy goal and, though it may not assist with the granting of federal survivorship benefits, an estate plan drafted by a qualified estate planning attorney in your area will most certainly simplify the apportionment and provisioning of assets for your after-born and after-conceived children.

Bumper Sticker: “I’m spending my children’s inheritance.”

The NYT today published an articled called “8 Reasons You Should Not Expect an Inheritance.”

We’ve been hearing this for years but this list is compelling and, frankly, kind of a downer.  But it is a good read…  The list has some items on it I’d not considered before and not necessarily intuitive… For instance:

Fewer people have pensions, so they’re more wedded to the markets. In 2005, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, 63 percent of workers in the private sector worked for employers who offered only 401(k) or similar plans, not traditional pensions.

As pensions continue to disappear, retirees and those close to the final quitting time will depend more heavily on how their investments perform. And as large numbers bet heavily on stocks to finance 20-plus years of retirement cruises and Cadillacs, some will inevitably lose big.

  1. People who make it to 65 will live a lot longer
  2. Social Security and Medicare will probably change
  3. Fewer people have pensions, so they’re more wedded to the markets
  4. Out-of-pocket health care costs for retirees may soon hit seven figures a couple
  5. Divorced individuals may pass on less money
  6. It’s getting easier to drain a home’s equity
  7. Life insurance may not offer much help
  8. The transfer of wealth will increasingly happen while the older generations are still alive