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Is dying a scam? Billionaires found a loophole

Heard of cryopreservation? Billionaires are freezing themselves to defy death!
11 Jul 2024

Cryopreservation, the practice of freezing bodies for future revival, has evolved from being a "crackpot" idea to an intriguing concept for billionaires, says Mark House.

He is a lawyer associated with US-based cryonics facility Alcor Life Extension Foundation.

The facility currently boasts 1,400 members and has already frozen 230 people.

Globally, around 500 individuals have undergone this process, with the majority residing in the United States.

A luxury affair with a hefty price tag
Costly immortality

At Alcor, the cost of whole body cryopreservation is $220,000 (around ₹1.8 crore).

Meanwhile, neurocryopreservation, which involves freezing only the brain inside a severed head, is priced at $80,000 (roughly ₹67 lakh).

This high cost suggests that the procedure is primarily accessible to the very wealthy.

Interestingly, these affluent individuals are not just looking to preserve their lives but also their wealth for potential future revival.

A new approach to immortalizing wealth
Wealth preservation

Estate lawyers like House are pioneering the concept of "revival trusts" to ensure that those who opt for cryopreservation can also preserve their wealth.

This idea is akin to a dynasty trust used by the super-rich in the US, to bypass federal tax when transferring large amounts of wealth through generations.

The unique aspect of a revival trust is that the wealth is being passed down to oneself in the future.

Legal and philosophical questions surrounding cryonics

The concept of cryopreservation and revival trusts raises philosophical questions beyond personal finance.

Key queries include: Are you considered dead when you're cryonically preserved? If revived, are you legally the same person?

House explains that from a legal perspective, someone cannot be a beneficiary of their own trust. However, the revived individual in the future can be.