Cryptocurrency, unlike other Digital Assets, are typically not controlled by any third-party. Thus, compared to other Digital Assets, planning for the succession of Cryptocurrency can be far simpler than planning for the succession of iCloud photos, Blogs, Social Media Profiles, etc., because there are no restrictive Terms of Services agreements to navigate.
1- Get a Will
Without an estate plan, any efforts to plan for the succession for your Cryptocurrency will not be successful. Having an estate planning attorney that is comfortable working with Cryptocurrency draft you a simple will or trust can take care of this. No, just writing down your wishes on a piece of paper is not going to work. Tell the personal representative that you name in your will to see an attorney that understands Cryptocurrency to help them administer your assets once you pass.
2- Make Some Lists
Get a list together of:
- the exchanges and wallets that you use to trade cryptocurrency;
- usernames and passwords for each exchange and wallet
- your phone’s pin/password
- any password necessary to access Authenticator (or whatever two-step verification app your exchanges and wallets may use)
- bank names and account numbers that your exchanges are connected to
- the location of wallet backup seeds
Once a year, update this list.
3- Leave Instructions
The storage and access of Cryptocurrency can be complicated. Think about your parents or grandparents attempting to access your Cryptocurrency on their own – it’s not going to happen without detailed instructions and the assistance of someone who understands Cryptocurrency.
Just because someone may have the necessary information to access your Cryptocurrency does NOT give them the legal right to do so. This right must be created in your estate planning documents by appointing an appropriate digital asset personal representative and/or trustee.
Pamela Morgan recently wrote a fantastic blog post with a sample letter that can be used, in conjunction with proper estate planning, to assist your named personal representative and/or trustee to access your Cryptocurrency. Pamela Morgan’s suggestions may certainly make it easier for you and your attorney to work together in developing a complete Digital Asset Estate Plan.