Simon Cowell is well known to fans of the incredibly popular American Idol television show. He was one of the judges for years and he made a reputation for himself as “the rude one.” He was very blunt and certainly unafraid to let contestants know exactly how he felt about their performances regardless of how his criticisms may strike them.
He stepped down as a judge this year, but he is an enormously successful producer and entrepreneur and he has innumerable coals on the fire professionally. The Englishman was named one of “The World’s 50 Most Influential Figures” of 2010 by the magazine New Statesman, coming in at #41.
Cowell was in the news recently due to something that he said that is of interest to people in the estate planning community. It turns out that Cowell wants to have his body cryonically frozen after he passes away because he would like to have the opportunity to be brought back to like if the technology was to exist at some point in time to revive him. Among other things, he is quoted as saying “I have a feeling that if I don’t do it now, I could regret this in 300 years’ time.”
However you may feel about the idea, it raises some very interesting questions from an estate planning perspective. How does he intend to provide for himself financially if he was to be brought back to life? Is he going to keep significant resources in a trust? Who will administer it and how should it be done? What about the fact that he will be considered deceased by the powers that be, what would his legal identity be if he was to be unfrozen and infused with life somehow?
These are interesting questions, and they certainly provide estate planning attorneys with some rather bizarre food for thought.