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Cryptocurrency and estate planning

Some people may have created an estate plan, but they might not have accounted for their digital assets. Most states, including Florida, allow an executor to manage digital assets just as they would conventional assets, but it is still necessary for a person to put the legal and technical elements in place that will allow the assets to be located and distributed.

One expert advises people to simply use a paper and pen to write down all the relevant information and make two copies of it. The problem with using a USB is that the technology may fail. People may need to include key locations, passphrases, PINs, and any multisignature and timelock requirements among other information. Frequent traders may need to update their information weekly. Those who trade less frequently may be able to limit their updates to once a year.

Executors might need to sell cryptocurrency assets sooner rather than later because the market is so volatile. Otherwise, it could appear as though the executor mismanaged the asset by keeping it and allowing the value to drop. One probate judge has pointed out that courts are going to have to become more knowledgeable about digital assets in general.

This may be true for a person's choice of executor as well. An executor is not required to be a financial or legal expert and is allowed to seek outside input regarding how to manage an estate. However, just as the executor should be someone who is organized and financially responsible, it may also need to be a person who has at least a passing familiarity with the requirements of digital assets, such as the need to act quickly on cryptocurrency. A person who is adding digital assets to an estate plan should also keep in mind that their social media accounts have terms of service that must be followed.

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