Who Gets Your Crypto When You Die?
A few years ago, I was thinking of surprising my family members with gifts of crypto for Christmas ("crypto for Christmas" has a nice ring to it). Then it hit me that they wouldn't know what to do with it anyway, and these are the types of people that think there's something dodgy about cryptocurrency in the first place.
I had visions of setting up Hive accounts for them and downloading their keys to a thumb drive after loading their accounts with some Hive. Pretty good idea right? Then it struck me that I'm already the unpaid tech support for general computer problems and adding crypto support to the mix would add a lot more to my plate (I can just imagine the emails and phone calls, it'd be a full time job!)
However, this aborted attempt made me consider: Who Gets Your Crypto When You Die? It made me realize that their needs to be at least some basic education about the blockchain and crypto in general so that the Muggles know what to do when we shuffle off this mortal coil.
If you recall, I shared with you how an elderly relative threw out my old computer that had 25 Bitcoin stored on the HD. Also tossed out were my seed phrase on an index card taped underneath the base of the monitor. Lest you begin hyperventilating about the huge loss of fortune, this was back in early 2011ish and BTC was worth $1. So I "only" lost roughly $25 in crypto.
After the ~~murder~~ (death) of Kurt Cobain, his "widow" Courtney Love mentioned that both of their names were on all of their assets. It helped to shine a light on the possibility of important thumb drives being thrown out like so much unimportant trash.
Picture Ledger Nanos somersaulting through the air into the ~~bin~~ trashcan loaded with a lifetime of hard-earned crypto. As your uninformed missus remarks to her new boytoy: "I threw out those dumb thumb thingys, they were probably loaded with porn anyway." Thousands of backed-up posts, downloaded episodes of The CryptoManiacs Podcast, and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of crypto (along with your Pornhub login and password), gone in an instant...
As your ethereal spirit looks on in utter disbelief, thoughts of what could ha been flash through your spectral brainstem. You'd really meant to bring it up and educate her about the importance of knowing what to do with those "thumb thingys." But her moist, inviting center occupied your attention in the moment, and 3 minutes later you were done, spent - with visions of Kim K's surgically-augmented derriere dancing in your dreams.
Hopefully, I won't have to join any of you in death, but will be caught up in the Rapture instead (for those in the know, pretrib ), but that's for another post. :)
All of this does point to the importance of considering what to do with crypto when making preparations for estate planning. Some at another level of preparation have setup something known as a 'Dead Man's Switch' to be triggered upon their incapacitation or death. It's a set-it-and-forget-it way to ensure that important information gets passed on in the event of your demise in case you didn't have those conversations with your loved ones in advance.
Is there at least one person in your household that has some knowledge of the subject? Better yet would be to find a legal professional who specializes in crypto assets to help your loved ones with the process of dealing with your assets.
None of us ever want to be in a situation such as 'the crypto king' CEO of an exchange who died without leaving behind the passwords to his crypto accounts, resulting in losses of almost 200 million dollars to his clients. The time to plan for that unfortunate event should begin now. Have you made plans for who gets your crypto when you die?
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