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Your Will, your legacy: what happens if I own cryptocurrency on death?

15 March 2022 | 2 minute watch

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Your Will, your legacy: what happens if I own cryptocurrency on death?
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Your Will, your legacy: what happens if I own cryptocurrency on death?

​​​Note: We have provided a transcript of the video if you are unable to listen to the audio. This transcript is generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and may contain errors.

Many people will hold their crypto in a hot or cold wallet, which means that they have personal custody of the private key, which is essential to allow access to their crypto. The risk of your loved ones being unaware that you own crypto, or not knowing how to find the private keys in the event of your death is extremely high if you don't put an access plan in place. A plan could involve appointing a particular individual with some knowledge of crypto to be an executor or to be a trustee of a will trust, and leaving instructions to that person on how to access the private keys. But we can work with you to create a bespoke plan that fits your personal circumstances.

International individuals may also need to take specific advice to understand whether more than one country could claim taxing rights over the same crypto assets, since there's very little consensus between countries on issues like the location of tokens or what crypto assets even are. From a succession perspective, clients commonly put in place wills to apply to their assets in specific jurisdictions to facilitate the probate process in countries where they own property. For example, they could have a UK will, a US will, and a third will covering everything else. But this approach might not work for crypto if the location of the crypto is not clear. In some cases, it might be appropriate to make a specific legacy of crypto in your will, bearing in mind, however, that your will becomes a public document on death. So to make sure the value of your crypto investments passes to your family as smoothly and as tax efficiently as possible, please talk to us about putting in place a plan now.

Many people will hold their crypto in a hot or cold wallet, which means that they have personal custody of the private key which is essential to allow access to their crypto. The risk of your loved ones being unaware that you own crypto, or not knowing how to find the private keys, in the event of your death, is extremely high if you don’t put an access plan in place.

A plan could involve appointing a particular individual with some knowledge of crypto to be an executor or to be a trustee of a will trust, and leaving instructions to that person on how to access the private keys, but we can work with you to create a bespoke plan that fits your personal circumstances. International individuals may also need to take specific advice to understand whether more than one country could claim taxing rights over the same cryptassets, since there is very little consensus between countries on issues like the location of tokens or what cryptoassets even are.

From a succession perspective, clients commonly put in place wills to apply to their assets in specific jurisdictions to facilitate the probate process in countries where they own property. For example, they could have a UK will, a US will and a third will covering everything else. But this approach might not work for crypto if the location of the crypto is not clear. In some cases, it might be appropriate to make a specific legacy of crypto in your will, bearing in mind however that your will becomes a public document on death. So, to make sure the value of your crypto investments passes to your family as smoothly and as tax efficiently as possible, please talk to us about putting in place a plan now.

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​​​Note: We have provided a transcript of the video if you are unable to listen to the audio. This transcript is generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and may contain errors.

Many people will hold their crypto in a hot or cold wallet, which means that they have personal custody of the private key, which is essential to allow access to their crypto. The risk of your loved ones being unaware that you own crypto, or not knowing how to find the private keys in the event of your death is extremely high if you don't put an access plan in place. A plan could involve appointing a particular individual with some knowledge of crypto to be an executor or to be a trustee of a will trust, and leaving instructions to that person on how to access the private keys. But we can work with you to create a bespoke plan that fits your personal circumstances.

International individuals may also need to take specific advice to understand whether more than one country could claim taxing rights over the same crypto assets, since there's very little consensus between countries on issues like the location of tokens or what crypto assets even are. From a succession perspective, clients commonly put in place wills to apply to their assets in specific jurisdictions to facilitate the probate process in countries where they own property. For example, they could have a UK will, a US will, and a third will covering everything else. But this approach might not work for crypto if the location of the crypto is not clear. In some cases, it might be appropriate to make a specific legacy of crypto in your will, bearing in mind, however, that your will becomes a public document on death. So to make sure the value of your crypto investments passes to your family as smoothly and as tax efficiently as possible, please talk to us about putting in place a plan now.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.

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