3 Quick Steps to help your Family inherit your Cryptocurrency.
3 simple Crypto Inheritance steps you can do today.
Go to Law School.
Well of course we’re not serious about that, but you do need to understand some legal basics that will take you maybe half an hour to research. However if you have made a Will then the good news is that you can skip to the next section below as you already know what comes next.
Well if you’re still reading then you don’t have a Will and don’t worry I’m not going to nag you to make one. However I am going to nag you to google (or preferably “Duck Duck Go”) the phrase “Intestacy Law in (*****) ” and add the State, Province or Country where you live instead of the asterisks.
If you die without a Will then you have died “Intestate” and your local “Intestacy Laws” dictate who your heirs and what percentage of your assets each Heir will receive.
Make sure that your local Intestacy Laws provide for the people you want provided for. In some places you may find that step-childen (for example) may not be covered by Intestacy Law. So once you finish this article you need to make that search (don’t worry about remembering, we give you a checklist below).
Give your loved-ones your Cryptos today.
Your loved ones will need to access your Cryptos from an Exchange or from a Wallet.
- Make a list of the Crypto Exchanges you use, the Name, URL and your Login Name.
- Thats all you need to do
- The legal representative (Executor / Administrator) that will manage your affairs will contact each Exchange and arrange the release of the funds to your Heirs.
- DO NOT plan for anyone to access your Exchange Accounts after your death. You could create serious legal problems for that person in the wrong set of circumstances.
- See our Article ‘You can’t outlive your Bitcoins‘ for more details about why you should not do this.
- Use Hardware Wallets (plural). If you don’t want to spend too much money then the first generation products by Ledger and Trezor now sell for about Fifty Dollars each. That is great value.
- Buy two Wallets.
- Use one yourself.
- Use one as a backup device.
- Give that backup device to your Family or let them know where they can find it and the PIN code to access it.
- This means that your loved ones can now immediately access your Cryptos if they ever needed to. How you arrange to give them the wallet and pin code is up to you. No two Crypto Owners will have the same approach to this need.
Write a letter
Now write a letter to your loved-ones explaining the bare minimum points below.
- The Crypto assets in your Wallet are not managed by any company or bank.
- So if they lose those assets they are lost forever.
- They will need to open an Exchange Account in their own names in order to sell your Cryptos.
- They need to learn how to make Crypto Transfers using the software that comes with the Wallet you have given them.
- Write down the Wallet Restore Key for them, in case the hardware device is lost or develops a fault.
Yes I know… There are five hundred other things you could and perhaps should write down. Lots of technical detail, lots of warnings about risks but if you do that here and now you will never finish this letter.
So do the ‘Bare Minimum’ right now. Then sit down and read the letter with your loved-ones.
When you read the letter together then you will know exactly what you need to work on with your loved-ones. So start simple and only try to answer the actual questions they ask of you.
1 – Make sure you have two hardware wallets. At $50 for a Ledger Nano S or a Trezor One they are now very affordable.
If this article helped you then please consider buying your Wallets via the links below, as those companies will give us a small sales commision if you do. Thank you in advance if you choose to do this.
2 – Go to duckduckgo.com (the search engine which doesn’t track you) and look up the “Intestacy Laws” which apply where you live.
3 – Write a letter to your loved ones which contains
- The names of your Exchanges,
- The location and PIN number of the backup wallet
- The details listed in the paragraph above.
Then talk to them about this letter so you can quickly learn what items they may need some help with from you
For extra credit, set a Passphrase on your Wallets.
It was scary writing down that Restore Key wasn’t it? If you haven’t done so already then now is the time to set a Passphase on your Hardware Wallet and the Backup Device.
This creates a secret, hidden set of Wallet Accounts on your Hardware Wallets which can help protect you if someone unathorised finds and uses your Restore Key.
We have an article about how to do that on this site “Why losing your Hardware Wallet’s restore Key need not be a disaster“.
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This article is not legal advice and should not be considered as such. Probate, Intestacy and Estate Planning laws will differ based on the legal jurisdiction in which you live. This article makes general observations and is not meant to be used in place of specific legal advice from a Lawyer licensed to practice in your area. Depending on your specific circumstances and the legal jurisdiction in which you live there will be caveats, exceptions and other considerations related to the points we discuss here. Please speak to a Lawyer if you have specific legal questions to address relating to anything discussed in this Article.
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