What Happens To Cryptocurrency When You Die?


Hi there, Bridget Mackay with The Law
Offices of Bridget Mackay here in Petaluma. We work in estate planning and elder law. Today, I want to talk a little bit
about crypto currency or maybe you’ve heard of it (as) Bitcoin. These are currencies that are used to trade on the internet. And, the beauty of them for some people
is they’re very secret. So, they don’t report to the IRS. You know, you can’t find crypto
currency due to your social security number. They’re very much under the radar and they’re becoming more popular. . So, how do we use or how do we fund, as you know if you have an estate
plan, it’s very important to fund assets
into that trust or have your heirs be aware of what those assets are if
you have a will. How do you do that with crypto
currency when you really don’t have a hard titling to it? You really just have a username and your crypto password to get to
it. And we’ve been seen as a problem
where even people who have bitcoin will miss or lose their password and they’re digging through trash, going to a hypnotist to try and find out what it is. And, imagine that, if that’s happening with people who
actually own it. What happens when you die
unexpectedly and you have a Bitcoin account or you have some sort of crypto
currency and your heirs don’t know where to
find it? So, a solution is and probably the most important
thing you need to think about with crypto currency is that your heirs need to know how to get to it. How do I do that? You can do it kind of in a
traditional way. I know a lot of clients who have a username and password written book that you would put all of that information in. And then, you can put that in a safe
place or a locked safe. Another way to do it is write all
that information on a USB
hard drive or, you know, drive that you can keep in another location. It’s not on your computer so that
you avoid hackers getting that
information. Either way you cut it, either of those two methods, the main thing is is let your heirs know where those two methods are. Whether you’ve written it down or you’ve put it on a USB
drive because they all -if they don’t know where to find it they won’t find it. There’s no way to research crypto currency.It’s not like you
can go to a bank and say, “Hey I’m the successor trustee or I’m the executor. Did my dad have an account here?”
There’s no way to do that and you’re not going to get any
statement in the mail or even online. So, if you want to know more about bitcoin or keeping your information secure in this day and age of the internet, check out my other blog which is
seniors beware of the five scams. And we talk a little bit about it. So If you have bitcoin, crypto currency, make sure your heirs know where it
is. Where your username, passwords, all the information they
need to know to get to those funds. Because, you spent some time building it up and you want to protect it just like
you want to protect your house.

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