There seems to be a trust for just about everything, including one that allows a person to freeze his or her assets when he or she is frozen. The process of freezing a person is known as cryonics, which involves the use of liquid nitrogen to cool a body down to -328 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, all cell activity is suspended. Proponents believe that advancements in science and medicine may someday allow preserved bodies to be revived.
Most of the cryonics in America is performed at one of two centers located in Clinton Township, Michigan, and Scottsdale, Arizona. It is estimated that approximately 400 individuals have been frozen in this manner since the 1960s, and as many as 1,500 more are planning to do so when they die. However, the process can be expensive, ranging in price from about $28,000 to as much as $200,000. Some celebrities have been frozen in this manner, including the late Ted Williams.
One of the concerns facing future cryonics customers is how to keep their assets intact and available for use once the thawing process has been completed. From an estate planning perspective, the answer comes in the form of a revival trust, which stores away a person’s assets until he or she is ready to use them. Until that time, the assets remain under the supervision of an attorney or other qualified professional.
The emergence of revival trusts points out the need to develop estate plans tailored to fit the lifestyle of the estate owner. Due to the continually changing landscape of society and tax codes, estate plans often become quite complex and need to be updated from time to time. When that is the case, it may be in the best interests of an estate owner to contact a law firm with experience in estate planning.