April 28, 2017
Some wealthy people in the Silicon Valley are searching for ways to live forever, if they choose to do so. If they are successful, it has major implications for society.
The idea that human beings could live forever has been with us for a long time, possibly since the very beginning of human existence. People do not want to confront the idea that at some point their existence will stop and they will have no control over or even knowledge about what happens after they are gone.
This has led some to seek out ways to have eternal life, such as Ponce de Leon searching for the fountain of youth. The idea of anyone actually living forever has always been far more myth than reality, but with the advances of modern science and medicine, some people think we might be on the cusp of the knowledge that will let humans live forever.
Many of these people are very wealthy individuals in Silicon Valley, as reported by The New Yorker in "Silicon Valley's Quest To Live Forever."
While most independent experts are far from convinced that we are anywhere close to living forever due to the way human cells are naturally damaged during division, it is interesting to think about what the implications of eternal life could be for estate planning.
If the wealthy could live forever, then how would they transfer their wealth to younger generations of their family? Would they even have families? If they did not have families and they died from an accident that they could not save themselves from, what would happen to their wealth?
These questions are difficult.
Fortunately, we are likely a long way from ever needing to answer them for real.
Reference: The New Yorker (April 3, 2017) "Silicon Valley's Quest To Live Forever."