Have you protected your surrogate? You Will should make provisions for your child… just in case.
Although Skype and Facetime can keep you in contact with your surrogate, most intended parents travel to and from their surrogate’s home country to meet with them and ensure matters are progressing smoothly. Early in the process, intended parents need to consider the remote but devastating effect of one intended parent dying before you can make your application for legal parenthood.
Prior to the Parental Order, the Intended Parents are not the legal parents in English law. Therefore, any Will drafted to give benefit to ‘a child’, will not include that child or children for their benefit.
If an application has already been submitted to the court for a Parental Order, this will proceed through, but if something happens before then currently the only recourse by the surviving parent remains adoption of their child and guardianship in the interim.
For your surrogate, it is a worry to also be left with the financial burden if anything happens to one or both of you. It is recommended that you speak to your surrogate about how they could be protected in their domestic jurisdiction, but you can make provision for them in your Will according to the agreement obtained. Although your Estate will pay out all debts and liabilities prior to distribution, English law does not strictly recognise the surrogacy contract as a binding agreement and as such it is not enforceable in England. As you do not usually have an estate in the domestic jurisdiction, it leaves a weakness for your surrogate for costs and unborn child. As such you should consider life insurance too.
These issues can be addresses as far as possible in a carefully drafted Will, based on the current law and practice for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. While current surrogacy laws provide a level of imperfection, you can and should protect your partner, children and surrogate by obtain expert legal advice on the matter prior to conception.
There is nothing wrong with planning for the worse , but expecting only the very best for your new family and those that have helped you build it.
A City Law Firm offer fixed fee Wills for you and your partner and can offer advice on complex trusts or overseas issues such at this.