ARTICLE: Cryptocurrency and Estate Planning

Cryptocurrency and Estate Planning

While it’s uncertain if digital currencies in their current form are here to stay for the long-term, if you possess any or plan to invest in digital currency, it’s probably a good idea to understand how these resources are integrated into your overall estate plan.

How Do You Manage Your Cryptocurrency?
For estate planning purposes and allocations, the way you hold your cryptocurrency is important. Cryptocurrency held online (also called a “hot wallet”) may be viewed as intangible personal property. This generally incorporates things like investment accounts and intellectual property like trademarks and copyrights. If cryptocurrency is held on a device—for example, a thumb drive or external hard drive (also called a “cold wallet”)—it may be viewed as tangible personal property. Tangible property such as vehicles, family heirlooms, and other physical possessions is handled differently.

How Do You Pass Along Cryptocurrency in a Will or Trust?
In comparison to common financial investments like a savings account or retirement fund, cryptocurrency does not offer the benefit of naming a transfer-on-death beneficiary. Consequently, if you pass away and haven’t granted any individual the required details to access your account, your cryptocurrency will be forfeited. If you include your cryptocurrency in your will or trust and provide accurate access information and directions, you can be certain that your cryptocurrency will be passed on to the person or people you designate.

How Will Your Trustee or Executor Access Your Cryptocurrency?
A primary factor to remember when accounting for cryptocurrency in your will or trust is access. If you don’t supply appropriate digital credentials and the location of any cold storage devices you’re using, your cryptocurrency will not be accessible to those in charge of your estate. It is imperative to offer specific instructions in your will or trust and to keep that information up to date.

Consider Ongoing Estate Planning Maintenance.
If your financial holdings include cryptocurrency, keep your estate planning attorney up to date with any significant changes. Further, if the value of your cryptocurrency grows, you may want to consider an estate-plan maintenance program so that you can regularly review your cryptocurrency holdings and any changes made to the rules and regulations affecting cryptocurrency so that you can update your estate plan if necessary.

Work with an Experienced Corning Estate Planning Attorney
Staying informed about legislation relating to estate planning, including laws and regulations related to cryptocurrency, is essential for estate planning lawyers. We are available to assist with including cryptocurrency in your estate plan. Please contact us to learn more. Call Roth Elder Law, PLLC today to schedule an initial meeting at 607-962-6162 or complete this intake form and we’ll be in touch.

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We at Roth Elder Law, PLLC, believe in providing services in a way that clients can easily understand and meaningfully participate in designing and maintaining their estate plan for their loved ones, as well as be assured that their plan will be administered according to their wishes.