As a part of its on-going series of continuing legal education for lawyers, the Estate Planning Section of the North Carolina Bar Association presented “New Frontiers: Emerging Issues in Estate Planning” on April 28. The program was designed to inform estate planning attorneys about current challenges presented by today’s medical and digital technology and changing laws regarding surrogacy and marriage in our state.
Sharon Thompson spoke on the emerging issues surrounding the topic of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) as it applies to estate planning. Sharon’s presentation educated lawyers about what ART is and the laws that might pertain to families in the course of planning their estates. Some of the questions Sharon answered for estate planners across the state included:
- Defining ART
- Pertinent North Carolina laws, and the lack of laws, relative to ART
- Definitions in estate planning documents for “issue” and “children”
- Whether ART children have the same rights as other children
- The disposition of stored genetic material in a person’s will
- Interpreting trust documents as they apply to ART children
The presentation examined the issues, provided suggestions for the drafting of estate plans, and advice on how to properly represent clients with these emerging issues.
Sharon is a frequent presenter on this topic, as well as other topics such as adoption and LGBT issues.