Making an estate plan for cryptocurrency

On Behalf of | Aug 27, 2018 | Estate Administration & Probate |

When people in Georgia consider their plans for passing on their property in the future, they may frequently think about assets like real estate, bank accounts and investment funds. However, the developing interest in cryptocurrency highlights other types of digital assets that can require special attention during estate planning. People need to be able to pass on their cryptocurrency assets to their beneficiaries, but without a traditional bank structure, it can be easy for these major assets to be lost or abandoned rather than properly transferred.

By thinking about cryptocurrency and other digital assets when making an estate plan, people can ensure that they have taken care of both the legal and technical preparations that are needed to transfer their bitcoin or other digital currencies to their beneficiaries. The same estate planning principles used with more traditional properties still apply when transferring these assets. The executor of the will needs to know which assets exist and how to access them. However, the highly secure and password-protected nature of these assets requires special care to pass them on, especially as there is often no central authority or responsible party to present a death certificate for access.

Experts recommend making a hard copy list of cryptocurrency keys, wallets, PINs, passwords and other critical information necessary to access these accounts. This list should be updated as frequently as a person’s crypto accounts are changed in order to ensure that these valuable assets do not simply become abandoned after death. The list should be held in a safe deposit box or a highly secure area of a person’s home.

People thinking about their estate plans may want to ensure that their existing documents are updated to reflect current laws as well as technological developments. An attorney specializing in estate administration and probate can work with people to develop key documents or update wills, trusts and other estate materials to reflect their digital assets and protect them for the future.

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