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In re Estate of Kievernagel

California Court of Appeal
83 Cal. Rptr. 3d 311 (2008)



Joseph and Iris Kievernagel were married and froze Joseph’s sperm for purposes of in vitro fertilization. Joseph did not want to have a child but nonetheless agreed to have his sperm frozen. Pursuant to a contract with the fertility center, the frozen sperm was Joseph’s sole, separate property. The agreement stated that Joseph’s frozen sperm was to be discarded upon his death. Joseph died, and Iris (plaintiff) filed a petition with the probate court, seeking ownership of Joseph’s frozen sperm. Joseph’s parents (defendants) opposed the petition. The probate court denied Iris’s petition, finding by a preponderance of the evidence that Joseph’s intent was that the sperm be destroyed upon his death. Iris appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Morrison, J.)

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