Buying cryptocurrencies has become increasingly popular in the last decade. It is estimated that around 34 million Americans own cryptocurrency (source). Investing can be lucrative, but what happens to your investment if you die? In this guide, we’ll provide advice for cryptocurrency owners and investors.
What happens to Cryptocurrency when you die?
If you own assets, including cryptocurrencies, it’s essential to understand what happens to your estate after your death. Nobody wants to think about dying, but being prepared will help to ensure that the people you love benefit from your assets. If you invest in cryptocurrency, or you have money set aside in Bitcoin or Ethereum, for example, you run the risk of losing your assets if you don’t have plans in place for the future.
Cryptocurrency differs from other financial assets due to the fact that digital currencies are not managed by centralized organizations, such as banks. They are decentralized and this can pose problems if you haven’t made the necessary plans before your death. If your beneficiaries are not able to access your funds, they won’t be able to use them. Research suggests that most cryptocurrency investors don’t have plans for their digital money in their Will. A survey by The Hustle revealed that of the 44% of investors that had a Will, less than 25% included digital assets within the document (source).
The importance of Estate Planning
Estate Planning is critical for cryptocurrency investors and those who have digital currencies. Whether you have a diverse investment portfolio or you have $1,000 in crypto, for example, it’s crucial to seek legal advice. Making a Will enables you to name beneficiaries and issue instructions related to how your assets are divided and managed after you die. You will need to provide access to the relevant crypto keys to enable your chosen beneficiary or beneficiaries to access your accounts. It is also beneficial to appoint a digital executor.
How to protect Cryptocurrency
If you own digital currencies, it’s natural to want to ensure that your beneficiaries can access and use them after your death. Cryptocurrencies are more complex than cash and other financial assets when it comes to the law and Estate Planning. This is why it’s important to seek expert legal advice and make sure your money is protected. You will need to include cryptocurrencies in your Will and ensure that you share the access key or keys with the relevant individuals. Review your Will frequently and appoint a digital executor. Make sure that the digital executor understands how to access the information needed to reach your funds.
Cryptocurrencies are increasingly popular investment options, but studies suggest that many people who own digital assets either don’t have a Will or don’t include crypto funds in their Will. If you own digital assets, it’s critical to make sure that you make a Will to avoid losing money. Seek expert legal advice to help you protect your assets.
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This is not legal advice and information may vary between states. Information found on this website is general in nature. Please consult with a lawyer for personal support.