Cryonics and the use of a revival trust

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2019 | Trusts

Some people in Nevada have enough faith in the future of science to consider having themselves frozen when they pass away with the hope of someday coming back. For individuals seriously exploring this option, the thought of waking up with no available assets or funds is a valid concern. Surprisingly, there’s actually a trust that can address this particular unique need of people who prefer self-preservation. It’s referred to as a future income or revival trust.

Specifically, what’s commonly termed a revival trust allows an individual to set aside assets that would be available should they be able to live a second time. It also specifies how a trust holder’s money will be administered while they are in a frozen state. There’s no data available on how many people have opted to create trusts of this nature. However, some 400 humans have been cryonically preserved, and roughly 1,500 people have opted to make such arrangements to do so when they pass away.

Costs associated with cryogenic preservation can range from around $28,000 to $200,000. One leading cryogenic company includes the cost of setting up a trust in their price. With taxes, the IRS has said it would treat a revived person like their former self for tax purposes, or as a new taxpayer. One potential problem is the possibility of double taxation – once at the time of preservation, then again at the time of revival.

Some trust planning lawyers are less than enthusiastic about the idea of preparing revival trusts for the purpose of having available funds upon revival, while others say it’s important to respect a client’s wishes. When a revival a trust is created, an attorney may suggest keeping the document on file at a trusted financial institution and adding a termination date since it’s not known if human revival will ever be possible.