If you have cryptocurrency it is important to consider how this can be accessed when you are gone.
Your cryptocurrency is accessed via your ‘Private Key’, however it’s important to make sure that this is kept as secret as possible whilst you are alive.
We would advise against leaving details of your Private Key in your Will as Wills become public documents once probate has been obtained. There is now also an added risk that even if details are left there is a two factor authentication which means that a secondary registered device would be needed such as a mobile to which a code would be text before access to the account is granted.
Instead we would encourage you to consider one of the below methods:
- Purchase and store cryptocurrency at a cryptocurrency bank and have the bank manage the keys on your behalf. This will mean that you just need to leave details of the crypto bank and your account with your loved ones. However, this does mean that you won’t actually own your cryptocurrency or have control of it as it will be stored with a custodian.
- Store your cryptocurrency online in a non-custodial multi-sig wallet and sign up for a cryptocurrency inheritance solution. Here you keep full control of your assets in your own wallet, with your own keys but in the event of a loss of access, or death, the services provides for two independent parties to come together to retrieve the funds on your behalf. In this instance you’d be provided with a beneficiary card to give you loved ones, identifying who to turn to should the unexpected happen.
- Hold your cryptocurrency on a hardware wallet in which you have stored a copy of the private keys for the wallet, or the 12-word seed recovery phrase for the wallet along with step-by-step instructions on how the wallet can be access in a safe-deposit box or vault.
- Apple now offer a Legacy Contact for your Apple ID. Adding a Legacy Contact is the easiest, most secure way to give someone you trust access to the data stored in your Apple account after your death. It is likely that more providers will set up systems such as this and we advise that you make enquiries and set this up as soon as possible. This also means that digital items such as photographs stored solely on a mobile phone or tablet can be retrieved.
It is also important to consider any other assets that are solely digitally held. This can include online bank accounts as well as cryptocurrency. Once you have died it may be impossible for your loved ones to have access to your computer and or mobile phone which may be the only place that you have details of your accounts. As such it is important that you let your family and or executors know where your assets are held so that the relevant enquiries can be made after your death. If not you run the risk that the asset is missed and lost entirely.