viatical settlement

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viatical settlement an arrangement whereby a person with a terminal illness sells their life insurance policy to a third party for less than its mature value, in order to benefit from the proceeds while alive; the system (referred to informally as death futures) developed with the spread of Aids and the heightened awareness of the possibility of long-drawn-out terminal illness requiring nursing care for previous healthy young people.

The term is recorded from the 1990s, and comes from Latin viaticus ‘relating to a journey or departing’.