The anonymity of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency is one of the major draws of that asset. Nevertheless, when the owner dies, this sometimes becomes problematic.
If no one knows that the decedent owned Bitcoin, that asset may be lost forever. You must ensure that your Bitcoin can be accessed in the event you become disabled or when you pass away. Sharing the fact of your Bitcoin ownership with select loved ones and providing them with the means to access that Bitcoin is imperative. We encourage our clients to prepare detailed written instructions regarding their Bitcoin, including where it is, where they bought it, it’s value, instructions on accessing that Bitcoin, and any usernames, passwords, codes or “private key” needed to access it. Those instructions should be kept in a safe-deposit box, home safe or other very secure location. Remember though – anyone who has that information can access your Bitcoin, so take the security of those instructions very seriously. A trusted loved one should also be advised where those instructions are located. Finally, it’s imperative to keep those instructions current.
If you have a Trust, your attorney should draft a specific assignment of your Bitcoin account into your Trust. If you do not have a Trust, your attorney may be able to draft a Beneficiary Assignment/designation transferring that asset to someone you name upon your passing.
It’s also critical to keep a list of any other digital assets or online accounts that you own (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, and countless others) along with instructions on how to access those accounts including your usernames and passwords. I also suggest that you leave instructions as to what you want done with those accounts (e.g, should your Facebook account be closed, what should happen to your online music collection and your digital pictures, etc.) These instructions should be kept in hard-copy format or in some type of Password Protection program that would allow a designated individual to access it upon your incapacity or death. Just as with Bitcoin, make sure a trusted loved one knows where that information is located.