Volume 1, Issue 1
1st Quarter, 2006

Functions of a Trust Protector During Biostasis and at the Time of Cryogenic Revival

John Dedon, Esq.

This article was adapted from a lecture given by John Dedon, Esq. at the 1st Annual Colloquium on the Law of Transhuman Persons, December 10, 2005, at the Space Coast Office of Terasem Movement, Inc., Melbourne Beach, Florida.

Editor's Note: Attorney John Dedon is a Partner with Odin, Feldman, Pittleman, PC in Fairfax, VA. In this article, he skillfully strolls through the hypothetical needs of Mr. & Mrs. Cryonic, an average American couple who have opted to be cryogenically preserved. Dedon addresses the Cryonic’s specific and potential fiduciary needs (during biostasis and upon cryogenic revival) pertaining to trust protectors, asset management, beneficiaries, and possible litigation. These specific needs dictate that there be flexibility within current and future laws involving the rights of persons so preserved, and their families.

A trust and estate lawyer spends most of his or her time trying to save significant amounts of money in estate tax, ensuring that assets are passed down through the generations and protected for their descendants. But what are the functions of a trust protector during biostasis and at the time of cryogenic[1] revival?

Mr. and Mrs. Cryonic
We begin with a hypothetical situation in which Mr. and Mrs. Cryonic[2] are establishing a trust. The primary purpose of the trust is to designate assets to be available upon their revival from a cryogenic state. These assets will be in place and protected during biostasis[3] and also waiting for them when they are revived. Within their estate planning, the couple has an option of placing the assets in a trust. If they do not have the resources to do this, the assets can be placed in a trust upon their death. We can explore this scenario within the framework of these traditional tools.

The couple may opt to create a dynasty trust, which is quite common. A dynasty trust is a trust where assets will pass down through generations, to future children and family members. This tool is already in existence; what do not exist are the rules for what happens if Mr. or Mrs. Cryonic does not come out of biostasis. In this case, where do the assets go? Does the law even allow to create such a trust for or those who have been cryogenically preserved?

As we explore these questions, let’s set the scene. Mr. and Mrs. Cryonic are the grantors who have created a trust in which they are the primary beneficiaries. There may be other beneficiaries as well, but it is primarily for their use. In this situation, we will need a trustee who will be the person or entity that manages these assets. Who should serve as trust protector in this situation and what exactly is their role during biostas and upon cryogenic revival?

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Footnotes (back to top)
1. Cryogenic – adj. a. Relating to or producing low temperatures. b. Requiring or suitable for storage at low temperatures. Stedman’s The American Heritage Medical Dictionary, second edition. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004:195.

2. For demonstration purposes, Mr. and Mrs. Cryonic represent an average American couple who are planning to be cryogenically preserved.

3. Biostasis: <biology> The ability of an organism to tolerate changes in its environment without having to adapt to them. Origin: Gr. Stasis = stoppage (09 Oct 1997). The CancerWEB Project Online Dictionary (March 3 ,2006 11:53 A.M. EST)

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