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How cryptocurrency fits into an estate plan

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2018 | wills

Our economy is constantly changing. While new markets emerge and old ones fade, even the way we view money is changing. Cryptocurrencies, for example, seem to be gaining some traction amongst the public. These digital currencies are not backed by banks, which means their value can rise and fall based on the value assigned to it by those in the market. This can create big swings in cryptocurrency values that could leave an individual sitting on thousands upon thousands of dollars’ worth of virtual money.

While that may sound appealing, and many people do find the ease of use of cryptocurrency, along with it anonymity, appealing, there can be serious consequences when it comes to leaving these assets to loved ones. One major problem is that cryptocurrency is usually only accessed via a security key. Those who misplace these keys, or fail to leave them for loved ones, can wind up having their cryptocurrency being stranded in the digital world.

So what can an individual who is engaging in estate planning do to avoid to such a tragic outcome? First, he or she should keep a record of all online accounts. Second, he or she should leave detailed instructions indicating how to access all digital assets, including cryptocurrency. This includes leaving security keys. Last, it is crucial to carefully consider who will handle and/or inherit these digital accounts, as their worth can be quite significant.

Fortunately, cryptocurrency can be addressed through normal estate planning documents, including wills and trusts. Those who want to learn how best to protect their assets for their loved ones can speak with an estate planning attorney who can help guide them toward the tools needed to meet their wishes.