Genetic Testing Services and Your Estate
Genetic screening is becoming increasingly popular for both genealogical and medical reasons. In order for your relatives to have access to your results after you pass you must properly store and share them. If you receive genetic screening for certain gene mutations, these results can be life saving not only for you, but for your future relatives.
While every genetic testing service is different, most consider your results to be confidential and your personal property. Therefore, your results can only be given to an executor, personal representative, or beneficiary of the estate. With most services, your results will remain in their database after you’ve passed, unless you request they be removed. Sharing your login credentials is never recommended and most genetic testing services do not have a formal beneficiary program.
Your genetic testing results are not only valuable to you. For example, in Safer v. Estate of Pack, a woman sued her deceased father’s doctor in New Jersey for not disclosing that he’d died due to a potentially heritable form of colon cancer. Later, when she was in her mid-thirties, the woman received the same diagnosis. During the proceedings the idea of a “genetic family” was brought forward. A genetic family is the idea that genetic information is simultaneously personal and familial due to its potential impact on those who you share DNA with. The results of your genetic testing could be very valuable to your descendants and the best way to share them is by adding them to your EstateBox.
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Last updated June 2022