Is dead dead? Law murky on what happens when science, tech issues arise: Report

If a frozen Walt Disney returns to claim his empire (now including Marvel Comics), will he get a break on his taxes? Will he get to use the same Social Security number he had before? Or is there an exemption for the undead?

These are some of the questions asked in a recent article by Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer in the East Valley Tribune — illustrated by Amazing Arizona Comics creator and Nerdvana contributor Russ Kazmierczak — about what some call a “flawed assumption” in tax codes that death is permanent. (Nothing certain but death and taxes? You’re half right.)

According to Fischer, an upcoming law journal piece by an Arizona State University law professor who specializes in taxes is using popular culture’s obsession with zombies and Arizona’s own frozen-head industry to highlight such legal gray matters. Science, he says, could advance very quickly to bring the issue of reanimation (or extended life) out of the realms of fiction and raise very practical questions akin to more familiar issues of legal death versus biological death.

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