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Things to know regarding cryptocurrency and estate planning

On Behalf of | May 1, 2018 | Estate Planning

Advanced technology has brought convenience to many Louisiana residents and others through online banking and other forms of currency transfer. Such convenience has prompted an estate planning concern, however, especially in situations involving cryptocurrencies. Those who have assets in cryptocurrency accounts will want to protect their loved ones’ interests by including encrypted information in their estate plans.  

The whole point of a cryptocurrency account is to set assets aside in a secure, private manner. The problem is that if a cryptocurrency account owner suddenly dies without having included encryption information in his or her estate plan, any assets contained therein may be lost to his or her heirs and beneficiaries. A loved one may, in fact, be aware of a particular account’s existence but that would not necessarily be enough to help him or her gain access to the account in the wake of the account owner’s death.  

Cryptocurrency accounts are not tracked by monthly statements, nor are crypto companies required to file reports with the Internal Revenue Service. Generally speaking, such accounts are ‘invisible’ and unable to be accessed without specific encrypted codes. Therefore, if a person intends to transfer ownership of his or her cryptocurrency account to an heir or beneficiary after death, it is essential that he or she provide a means of access by including encryption codes in an estate plan.  

Some say it is best to keep written passcodes in a safety deposit box. Others are using digital wallets or smart thumb drives to store passcode information offline. In either case, including written instructions regarding the existence and location of such information could help loved ones in line to inherit crypto assets avoid major complications. A Louisiana estate planning attorney can assist anyone in this state seeking answers to questions regarding cryptocurrency assets or other inheritance issues.  

Source: CNBC, “That fortune will be lost if you don’t add cryptocurrency assets to estate plan“, Barry Glassman, Accessed on May 1, 2018