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Cryptocurrencies can be addressed in wills, trusts

Investors in cryptocurrency are understandably preoccupied with their digital fortunes' constantly changing value. However, they might be neglecting to make sure that their cryptocurrencies will end up in the hands of their children when they pass away. Trusts and wills are invaluable estate planning tools for protecting their virtual fortunes along with their traditional wealth in Virginia.

Cryptocurrency is secretive in nature. For this reason, investors who have large holdings of this virtual currency may be wise to record the details of their accounts in writing. Otherwise, their heirs risk losing it all in the event that something happens to the investors.

Important information to document includes where the cryptocurrencies were purchased and how an heir can access it. Right now, regulators do not require identification to purchase cryptocurrencies, so when people buy them, their heirs will not know this unless they tell them about it. Complicating matters even more is that cryptocurrency exchanges, such as Bitstamp and Coinbase, do not require the holders of accounts to name beneficiaries. Thus, the fate of the currency will be determined in probate court if this is not spelled out in an estate plan. Unfortunately, probate is a time-consuming and expensive process.

The owners of assets often fail to plan for what happens to their assets -- including their virtual wealth -- when they die, as they are more focused on their immediate life concerns. The truth is, though, that death can strike at any time. Fortunately, an attorney in Virginia can offer the guidance needed to create wills or set up trusts designed to preserve asset owners' property for the next generation.

Source: barrons.com, "Bitcoin Should Be Part of Estate Planning, Too", Abby Schultz, Feb. 1, 2018

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