X-Message-Number: 13588
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 12:26:09 -0400
From: "Stephen W. Bridge" <>
Subject: Insurance and signing up

To CryoNet
From Steve Bridge

In reply to: Message #13582
From: "Brook Norton" <>
Subject: About those who are not yet signed up
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 14:05:45 -0700

Brook said:

>I believe in what cryonics has to offer about as much as anyone and am
>reasonably optimistic about its working.  But I don't feel there's such a
>hurry for younger people... I'm 39.  If I for some reason could not sign
>for 10 more years I wouldn't be too worried about it.  What are the odds
>that I need to be cryopreserved?  Very, very, small. 

Brook and others, please go back and read Message #13455 from Joanne
Epstein.  Her father is in suspension at Alcor and she has discovered she
has a fatal progressive disease -- and she is in her 20's!!!!    She no
longer has the ability to get purchase life insurance.

At least get the life insurance policy now!  If you can't commit to
cryonics yet, make your brother or parents the beneficiary.  You can change
it later.  You can't buy fire insurance when the building is already on
fire.  And the younger you are, the cheaper it is.

In reply to Message #13580
From: "John de Rivaz" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: Life Insurance vs direct investment
Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 16:25:33 +0100

John said:
>Surely someone could just as easily tie up the life company in litigation
>they could any other trust?

Readers should note that Rudi deals with American life insurance laws and
John deals with British insurance laws.  In my limited experience with this
field while I was Alcor's President, it was apparent that the legal
treatments of life insurance are quite different between the two countries.
 I don't believe that a life insurance policy, in itself, creates a trust
in the U.S, as it does in the U.K.  It has always been my understanding,
from attorneys, life insurance agents, and the insurance executives who
handle payments, that relatives cannot contest the payment of properly
set-up U.S. life insurance.  It is completely outside the person's estate,
unless the estate has been specifically named as the beneficiary or the
beneficiaries are all dead.

The INSURANCE company could hold up payment for two reasons: fraudulent
answers given by the individual in response to medical questions, etc. on
the insurance application (and even that does not apply after 2 years in
most policies) and (maybe) potential homicide committed by the beneficiary.
 They can refuse to SELL you life insurance in the first place for many
reasons, but once you have the policy, the insurance companies are bound by
fairly strict laws.

Alcor has had only two cases where insurance policies did not pay off to
Alcor.  One was a case where the member lied on his application, saying
that he did not have cancer or AIDS when in fact he had both, and died less
than a year later.  We got nothing from the insurance company.  [In this
case, the member was already in neurosuspension before we discovered his
misdeed. After much debate, he is still there.]

The second was a case where the member committed suicide while in a
severely depressed condition.  His policy had a two-year exclusion on
suicide (it would have fully paid after two years, even in a suicide).  We
did get the small amount of premiums the member had paid.  [Fortunately,
the member also had a small trust fund, which allowed us to retrieve his
brain after the autopsy and preserve it.  I don't know whether future
repair technology will still allow us to call that "fortunate" when revival
is attempted, of course.]

I think that life insurance under today's laws in the U.S. is pretty secure
from predatory relatives.

John also says suggests that people can take out a reducing term insurance
and build up a trust account, also.  That's true, but darn few people have
that kind of discipline.  Eventually, they need the money for a house or
child's college expensives or whatever,  and the account slowly disappears.
 That's also much harder for the cryonics organization to keep track of. 
We really HATE it when we discover someone has shorted us in a suspension

If you think you have the discipline for the cash route, I suggest a fully
funded insurance policy be kept in force until a fully-funded cash program
is in place to substitute for it.  Then you can secure it some way so that
it is also removed from your estate.  One way Alcor uses is to have the
member make a "conditional donation" prepayment to Alcor.  Alcor agrees in
writing to keep the money in an insured, interest-bearing account and not
to use the money for anything besides the member's suspension at the time
of the member's legal death.  Anytime before that, the member can withdraw
the donation.  There are various tax factors to be considered, too; but
those are beside the point here.

Steve Bridge

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