If a proposed bill granting inheritance rights to children conceived after a parent’s death crosses your desk you might reasonably wonder who exactly this law is intended to benefit and why it is being proposed now. The simple answer probably is the proposed law is intended to grant children conceived by in vitro fertilization after a parent dies social security benefits. It is likely being proposed now in response to a recent a U.S. Supreme Court decision Astrue v. Capato.
In this case the Supreme Court unanimously held that children conceived after their parent’s death may only receive Social Security survivor benefits if they qualify to inherit from their deceased parent under state intestacy law. Karen Capato’s twins were born 18 months after her husband died of cancer with the help of in vitro fertilization using her husband’s frozen sperm. After her application for Social Security survivor benefits for the twins was denied she sued.