More Women Harvesting Eggs, Estate Planning Concerns Grow

Posted on Sep 14, 2013

According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, the handling of frozen eggs is a new and increasingly common issue that may be addressed by estate planning. The report cites the story of Diane Kaplan, a 36-year-old software company director. Kaplan decided to freeze her eggs until she decides she is ready to have a baby. The procedure, however, is costly, and often is not covered by insurance.

How are women paying to have their eggs harvested? One option is to have parents make annual tax-exempt gifts of as much as $14,000. This allows the potential grandparents to feel as though they are part of the process, according to Manisha Thakor, CEO of MoneyZen Wealth Management. Family members can also pay fertility bills directly, without incurring gift taxes. To do so, however, the freezing of the eggs must be done in order to overcome infertility issues. The storage of the eggs also must be temporary.

In addition to using common estate planning techniques to fund the egg harvesting without incurring taxes, trusts and estates attorneys suggest setting up 529 college savings plans for the potential future children. Individuals will have to name someone to oversee the plan until the potential child is born.

Potential estate planning issues are rife in this new and emerging area of estate planning. For example, some states limit how long an estate can remain open after a mother or grandparent passes away. Therefore, there is a limit on how many years a mother may have before she must have a child who can receive distributions from a grandparents’ estate. Furthermore, a 2012 Supreme Court case found that children born after their parent died could not qualify for Social Security survivor benefits.

When creating an estate plan, it is important to address the issue of harvested eggs if this applies to your estate. To learn more, contact the experienced Anaheim trust attorneys at the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, APC, today for a consultation. Call our office at (714) 459-5481.

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James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm