Estate planning attorneys will sometimes discuss final arrangements with their clients. It is possible to identify the funeral home that you would like to use and actually pay for the final expenses in advance.
And if you want to, you can make your wishes clear in your estate planning documents regarding exactly how you would like your body to be handled and express your wishes regarding the type of memorial service you would prefer.
The choice of how you want your body handled after your death generally comes down to whether you would like to be buried or cremated. However, there is another option that exists, though it has only been used by about 200 people: cryonics.
Cryonics is a science that allows for the body to be preserved at a low temperature or “frozen.” People do this because they are hoping that the medical technology will someday exist that will allow for their resuscitation. The reason why so few have taken this chance is probably because it sounds kind of weird to most, and in addition, it is expensive. It costs around $200,000 to have your body cryonically frozen.
The subject of cryonics got a boost in the public consciousness recently when former American Idol judge Simon Cowell stated that he would like to be frozen in this manner. He apparently made the remarks at a dinner party that was given by Gordon Brown, who is the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
Estate planning attorneys would have to break some new ground if this practice was to become more widespread, and the implications are interesting indeed. One question that comes to mind would be how to know what your financial needs may be in 300 years. And is it practical to assume that the economic paradigm would bear even a vague resemblance to the present one?
Cowell may have a second chance someday, but he may not be as hip after a couple of centuries off the “A list” so he may want to keep this in mind.
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