Trusts for people who want to be cryogenically frozen

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A Wisconsin resident who wishes to undergo the process of being cryogenically frozen at death might also be concerned about having access to funds on revival. A revival or future income trust can be created to allow this.

This type of trust is controversial for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that it is unclear that reviving a person who has been cryogenically frozen is even possible. In the United States, cryogenic freezing is primarily done by two companies, one in Michigan and one in Arizona. The cost ranges from $28,000 to $200,000. Around 400 people have been frozen, and roughly another 1,500 have arranged to do so. The process involves removing water from the cells in the body and placing the body in a large vessel. Cell activity is stopped by the presence of liquid nitrogen.

Some attorneys may be hesitant to draw up a revival trust since the science around cryogenics is so uncertain, but others argue that they have a duty to fulfill the wishes of their clients. A revival trust may upset family members whose inheritance is reduced as a result. It is also unclear what the future tax implications of such a trust might be. One attorney suggests choosing a financial institution with a long history to hold the trust and putting an expiration date on it.

Other types of trusts may be included in estate plans and might have more immediate, practical uses. For example, leaving an inheritance to a loved one with special needs could put any government benefits that person receives in jeopardy. However, with a special needs trust, assets remain the property of the trust, and rent or other expenses can be paid directly from the trust. Trusts may also be set up to protect irresponsible heirs.