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Should You Include Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan?
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Should You Include Digital Assets in Your Estate Plan?

On October 26, 2018, one bitcoin was worth $6,392.71. Back in 2013, that price was hovering between $50 and $300. If you got onto the cryptocurrency bandwagon early, then it’s very possible that you made a lot of money, and Bitcoin isn’t the only game in town. Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero and Dash are just a few of the other popular cryptocurrencies circulating on the web. The values of these alternative forms of money can make them a significant part of some portfolios. But what happens to these digital assets when you pass?

Why Your Estate Plan Needs to Include Cryptocurrency

Texas is one of 42 states that allows executors to handle digital assets, but there are a few difficulties when dealing with these assets. Courts can make traditional assets available to executors through court orders. But there is no court order that can guarantee access to cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Bitcoin. Even tracking down your digital moneys can be near impossible. That means your heirs are going to need serious help from you if they are going to inherit your digital assets.

What Digital Assets Do You Have?

The first part of bequeathing digital assets is making sure your heirs know they exist. This means making a list of your digital assets and leaving it in a place where your estate managers can find it. Since digital storage devices like USB drives can fail, having a hard copy of this list is important. Consider having at least two copies of this list, stored in different secure locations. This will keep these digital assets from being lost.

How to Access Your Digital Assets

Your heirs having access to your digital assets is just as important as them knowing those assets exist. Passcodes, passwords, passphrases, time locks and security PINs will be needed to distribute your digital assets. Without these things, heirs often won’t be able to get to these assets, even with a court order. Keep these security measures close to the hard copies of your digital assets.

These measures will help ensure that your heirs receive the digital assets you intend for them to inherit. However, these aren’t the only legal details that need to be worked out when it comes to your digital assets. Consulting a lawyer may be the best option to handle these details. Here at Sheehan Law, PLLC, our Austin estate planning attorneys are qualified to help clients achieve their estate goals. You can schedule a meeting by calling us at (512)640-0588 or by filling out our online form.

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