You know you need to do estate planning for your cryptocurrencies, because if you don’t your family likely won’t be able inherit them. You’ve probably been thinking about it for awhile, but it hasn’t made it to the top of your “to-do” list yet (it probably never will). Instead of waiting until you’ve got the time/resources/energy to devote to building an entire estate plan, here’s a simple template that you can complete in less than 5 minutes; it might be the difference between your family inheriting your crypto and them losing out.
My book Cryptoasset Inheritance Planning: a simple guide for owners is now available at Amazon.com (and at amazon sites throughout the world). It’s a book that will take you through all of the steps of creating customized plan for you and your loved ones.
While using this template won’t guarantee your family can inherit your cryptocurrencies, not using it will almost certainly guarantee some or all of your crypto will be lost when you’re gone — especially if you’re into more than one currency.
How to use this template:
(1) Customize it for your situation. Add, delete, change whatever you like, it’s your document, designed for your family, and your holdings; we’ve just provided a starting point.
(2) Don’t add copies of your keys or access credentials in this document. You can point the reader to the secure location of credentials or access materials, if you feel confident in the security of those locations.
(3) If you’ve told your sister/cousin/friend about your bitcoin, ether, or other cryptoassets and they’re your inheritance plan, consider having them complete the document (with your help) as a way to help them understand what you have.
(4) While nothing in the inventory is security critical, protect it from fire and water damage, and untrustworthy people. Consider storing it with your other important documents.
(5) Keep more than one copy of the inventory and update them regularly. We recommend at least twice a year if you’re actively trading cryptocurrencies.
IMPORTANT: This inventory alone is not enough to guarantee your family will be able to inherit your bitcoin, ether, or any other cryptoassets but it’s a great start and it’s far better than doing nothing. To be sure they’ll have access and things will happen as you want them to, you’ll need a more through technical and legal plan.
Learn more about how to create a comprehensive plan in my book book Cryptoasset Inheritance Planning: a simple guide for owners, available now at Amazon.com (and at amazon sites throughout the world).
This article was first published on October 27, 2017 and updated October 25, 2020. Licensed under creative commons CC-by-NC-SA 4.0.