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You Can’t Take Your Bitcoins With You When You Die, So Work Them Into Your Estate Plan


Sometimes old age creeps up on you quickly, but other times it jumps out in front of you and startles you.  One minute, you were proud of yourself that your straight leg trousers were appropriate for both work and leisure, and then every news headline started saying that you know you’re old if you wear skinny jeans.  One minute, you thought you were cool because it was almost impossible for the IRS to find out how much Bitcoin you own, and the next you found yourself Googling “Is Bitcoin a probate asset?”  Bad news, grandpa.  Not only can you not take your cryptocurrency with you when you die, you also cannot pass it on to your heirs except by following the same procedures you would need to follow to pass any other asset to the next generation, like your boring old bank account or your vinyl record collection.  As with most assets, cryptocurrency becomes part of your estate that goes through probate, and the procedures for turning it into a non-probate asset are similar to the procedures for keeping real estate and personal property out of probate.  An Orlando estate planning lawyer can help you designate your digital assets as non-probate assets.

Secrecy Is the Kryptonite of Your Cryptocurrency

One of the joys of owning cryptocurrency is that it is almost impossible for other people to find out how much crypto you have.  Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your spouse giving you an earful every time your Bitcoin loses value like you do when you splurge on non-essential items or when your stock market investments lose value.  No one can access your Bitcoin digital wallet unless they have your digital key, which is the password to your digital wallet.  Of course, if you die and no one knows your digital key or where to find a physical copy of it, then that means that your heirs are missing out on valuable assets that otherwise would have become part of your estate.

How to Ensure Safe Passage for Your Crypto Assets

After all the horror stories about treasure troves of cryptocurrency that disappeared into thin air because their owners never told anyone they existed, or because the heirs threw away the digital key without knowing what it was, the wise folks at Coinbase have created a physical vault for cryptocurrency digital keys.  You can give instructions for the personal representative of your estate to be able to get the digital key from the vault after you die.  Some cryptocurrencies even offer trust accounts, which are non-probate assets.  If you plan to place your cryptocurrency in a trust, you should have an estate planning lawyer help you do it.

Contact Gierach and Gierach About Keeping Your Bitcoin Out of Probate

An estate planning lawyer can help you ensure that your loved ones can inherit your cryptocurrency assets from your estate or through a trust.  Contact Gierach and Gierach, P.A. in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.



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