A posthumous child is a child born after the death of one of their biological parents. This becomes important in the context of intestate succession or survivor benefits. Generally, children conceived before the death one parent are treated no differently than those who were already born at the time of that parent’s passing. The situation becomes more complicated when the child was conceived after the death of the parent through artificial means. As stated by the American Bar Association, there must be proof that the deceased parent intended for the posthumously child to receive an inheritance or qualify for benefits. As such, any child conceived with the biological material of a deceased person without their prior consent is generally not considered that person’s issue under intestacy laws.
[Last updated in July of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]