Say you're going to take a flight into space, how would you prepare? It probably depends on the risks that you wouldn't make it back.
So imagine you were Neil Armstrong, who was planning on flying into space, landing on the moon, getting out and walking on the moon, then launching off the moon and crash landing into the ocean. There was probably a slight risk of death there. Clearly, Armstrong would have wanted to make an estate plan in the case he did not return.
At the time, the premiums on a life insurance policy that would cover a trip to the moon would have cost a fortune, according to NPR. So Armstrong and the other Apollo astronauts came up with their own life insurance policy.
It is not surprising that the first people to walk on the moon would be concerned about the potential for not returning to earth. Like anyone else who is concerned for their family and wants to prepare for the situation when they are no longer around, the astronauts had an estate plan.
One piece of every plan is life insurance. The insurance can range from just enough to cover funeral costs and final medical bills, to enough to cover a child's college tuition.
Since the astronauts were famous in their day and they couldn't take advantage of the life insurance options that are available now, they created their own by signing autographs, according to NPR. They signed "covers" that were envelopes then postmarked on significant dates of the Apollo 11 mission. In the 1990's, one cover sold for about $30,000 at a space memorabilia auction.
Everyone knows that the astronauts were heroes for risking their lives for scientific progress, but now we also know they were innovators in the realm of creative estate planning.