|Economists have long criticized the poor for not having a sufficiently
long-term planning horizon. Some studies suggest that even rich people
suffer from the same defect. Here is definitive proof that really rich
people think long-term:
Regalado, Antonio. 2006. "A Cold Calculus Leads Cryonauts To Put Assets
on Ice." Wall Street Journal (21 January): p. A1.
"You can't take it with you. So Arizona resort operator David Pizer has
a plan to come back and get it. Like some 1,000 other members of the
"cryonics" movement, Mr. Pizer has made arrangements to have his body
frozen in liquid nitrogen as soon as possible after he dies. In this
way, Mr. Pizer, a heavy-set, philosophical man who is 64 years old,
hopes to be revived sometime in the future when medicine has advanced
far beyond where it stands today. And because Mr. Pizer doesn't wish to
return a pauper, he's taken an additional step: He's left his money to
"With the help of an estate planner, Mr. Pizer has created legal
arrangements for a financial trust that will manage his roughly $10
million in land and stock holdings until he is re-animated. Mr. Pizer
says that with his money earning interest while he is frozen, he could
wake up in 100 years the "richest man in the world."
""I figure I have a better than even chance of coming back," says Don
Laughlin, the 75-year-old founder of an eponymous casino and resort in
Laughlin, Nev. Mr. Laughlin, who turned a down-and-out motel he bought
in 1966 into a gambling fortune, plans to leave himself $5 million."
"At least a dozen wealthy American and foreign businessmen are testing
unfamiliar legal territory by creating so-called personal revival trusts
designed to allow them to reclaim their riches hundreds, or even
thousands, of years into the future."
:Such financial arrangements, which tie up money that might otherwise go
to heirs or charities, are "more widespread than I originally thought,"
says A. Christopher Sega, an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown
University and a trusts and estates attorney at Venable LLP, in
Washington. Mr. Sega says he's created three revival trusts in the last
"In December, a trusts expert from Wachovia Trust Co., part of Wachovia
Corp., participated in the First Annual Colloquium on the Law of
Transhuman Persons held in Florida. His PowerPoint presentation was
titled "Issues Facing Trustees of Personal Revival Trusts." A Wachovia
spokesman confirmed the bank is named as trustee in one cryonics case
but declined to comment further for this article."
"To serve clients who plan on being frozen, attorneys are tweaking
so-called dynasty trusts that can legally endure hundreds of years, or
even indefinitely. Such trusts, once widely prohibited, are now allowed
by more than 20 states -- including Arizona, Illinois and New Jersey --
and typically are used to shield assets from estate taxes. They pay out
funds to a person's children, grandchildren and future generations."
"The chilling new twist: In addition to heirs or charities, estate
lawyers are also naming their cryonics clients as beneficiaries. If
they come back to life after being frozen, the funds revert back to
them. Assuming, that is, that there are no legal challenges to the
"Thomas Katz, an estate planner at the law firm Ruden McClosky in Fort
Lauderdale, Fla., believes cryonics could raise fundamental legal
quandaries. Upon coming back to life, for instance, would a person have
to repay their life insurance? "Our legal notion of death is pretty
fixed. The scientific notion might not be as time goes by," Mr. Katz
"Some 142 human bodies or heads, including that of baseball legend Ted
Williams, are now held in cold-storage at one of two U.S. cryonics
facilities, Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale Ariz., and the
Cryonics Institute of Clinton Township, Mich."