Can a frozen embryo claim inheritance?

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
45,159
31,779
Toronto
#1
Interesting case happening in Russia right now.

Igor Malashenko, a wealthy and renowned media mogul over there, who has, over the years, founded several famous Russian TV channels, including NTV, Russia's biggest "private" channel (though controlled by Gazprom now) and RTVI, number one "international" Russian language channel which transmits to and across all the diasporas around the world, in Europe, America, Canada, Australia, Israel, etc; and his "informal wife" (i.e. common low partner, by our terms here) Bozhena Rynska, a famous Moscow socialite


Malashenko committed suicide back in February, at his villa in Spain: Evidence in NTV Co-Founder Malashenko's Death Points to Suicide, Spanish Court Says

He had a wife before Rynska, whom he had divorced; and three children, from that marriage. He and Rynska had no children of their own.

This is bad news for Rynska, since, along with her lack of formal spousal status, it means she now has NO claim on Malashenko's inheritance, at all.

She thinks, however, that if she can produce an offspring she had conceived with the man when he was alive, that child could qualify for a piece of the pie. Apparently, she has one or more frozen embryos indeed conceived by her and Malashenko, which they had been planning to fertilize prior to his untimely demise.

She now wants a surrogate to carry one out, so the new baby could stand for his or her daddy's inheritance!

Legal experts, so far, have doubts about this:

Article 1116 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation reads: “Citizens who are alive at the time of the opening of the inheritance, as well as conceived during the life of the testator and born alive after the opening of the inheritance may be called upon to inherit. The Big Medical Dictionary interprets conception as “the occurrence of pregnancy”, including “fertilization of the egg and implantation of the ovum.” If the egg has been fertilized, but not implanted in a woman, the conception is not considered to have taken place. Russian legislation does not define the legal status of an embryo obtained as a result of IVF. In other words, the current Family and Civil Codes consider cases of natural way conception, without taking into account the rapid development of medical technique, including assisted reproductive technologies. According to the well-known Russian lawyer Mikhail Barshchevsky, the legislation should certainly change to reflect the rights of children born with IVF. But at the same time, he specifies that, taking into account the standards of the current Russian legislation, “if a child is conceived not during the life of the testator, he will not be considered the heir”.

Sergey Zhorin, the founder of Zhorin and Partners law company, is more optimistic about the inheritance rights of a probable child of Rynska and Malashenko. The lawyer is sure that even now, even without changes in legislation, a child conceived before the inheritance section can claim his share. Zhorin believes that conception is a “direct sharing of the embryo” to a woman, but additionally “an explanation of the plenum of the Supreme Court is required.” “If conception happens during half year after the death of the father, I would challenge the inheritance at the place of the future mother, file a lawsuit, freeze the action on assets, and later, after birth, declare the rights to the inheritance,” advises lawyer.

In Russia, there is practically no law enforcement practice associated with post-mortem IVF. In Europe, such things are more common. So the case promises to be very interesting and instructive.
Unauthorized embryos of Bozhena Rynska - Surrogacy in Russia and Abroad

Indeed, will be fascinating to see how this all turns out haha
 
Likes: Friday13

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
45,159
31,779
Toronto
#2
Posthumous birth has special implications in law, potentially affecting the child's citizenship and legal rights, inheritance, and order of succession. Legal systems generally include special provisions regarding inheritance by posthumous children and the legal status of such children. For example, Massachusetts law states that a posthumous child is treated as having been living at the death of the parent,[3] meaning that the child receives the same share of the parent's estate as if the child had been born before the parent's death. Another emerging legal issue in the United States is the control of genetic material after the death of the donor.[4] United States law holds that posthumous children of U.S. citizens who are born outside the United States have the same rights to citizenship that they would have had if the deceased U.S. citizen parent had been alive at the time of their birth.[5] In the field of assisted reproduction, snowflake children, i.e. those "adopted" as frozen embryos by people unrelated to them, can result in the birth of a child after the death of one or both of their genetic parents.
Posthumous birth - Wikipedia

Wow lol "Snowflake children" sounds kinda offensive... :D

A lot I did not know about this whole subject, that's for sure...
 

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