Many in Florida and around the world are discovering the convenience and flexibility of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other virtual wallets allow people to control their financial transactions without going through a bank. However, since no bank manages the accounts, those who invest in cryptocurrency must keep track of their own holdings. Additionally, because cryptocurrency accounts can be managed anonymously, they may be lost if they are not included in one’s estate plan.
The way things stand now, such accounts can exist without one’s heirs knowing about them. Regulators in the United States do not require identification when one opens a virtual account, although this may change in the future as it has in other countries. Because of the anonymity of the accounts, they do not require their owners to name beneficiaries as they would on a bank account or retirement fund.
More estate planning professionals are urging their clients to remember to account for their cryptocurrency within their wills or trusts. This involves leaving detailed information about how much virtual currency the person owns and how to access those accounts. This information is best left in written form on paper. Those who own substantial wealth in cryptocurrency and fail to provide information about it in their estate plans may deny their heirs an important part of their inheritance.
Dealing with cryptocurrency is a new and growing part of personal wealth. Those in Florida who already invest in virtual currency certainly want the assistance of a legal professional who understands the importance of delineating all assets in an estate plan. An attorney can ensure that one has access to the most appropriate tools for planning one’s estate.
Source: barrons.com, “Bitcoin Should Be Part of Estate Planning, Too“, Abby Schultz, Feb. 1, 2018